Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF) has expressed concern over the role of a Non-Governmental Organisation called Centre for Environment and Education (CEE) in the public consultation on the controversial Coastal Zone Management (CZM) notification issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

A pressnote quoting T. Peter, KSMTF president, here on Tuesday feared that the real sentiments of the people would not be taken into consideration by the NGO during the consultation. The website of the NGO states that it was working in tandem with the Ministry to create awareness on the CZM notification. This, he said, revealed the real agenda of the NGO.

Mr. Peter said the CZM notification was severely opposed by the fishing community all over the country right from the time it was suggested by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan on the grounds that the CZM would legitimise the establishment of hazardous industries in the coastal belt, threatening the lives of fishing community and their rights over the coastal land.”

The CEE, Mr. Peter said, was a ‘Centre of Excellence’ supported by the Ministry and two members of its governing council were nominees from the MoEF. The pressnote said the attempt of the Ministry to use an NGO to generate legitimacy was highly questionable. It added that the KSMTF would launch an agitation unless the Ministry called off its efforts to implement the CZM notification.