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‘New CRZ notification spells a death knell to coastal communities’

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Goa-based CRT says it will displace local communities

Describing the Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) notification of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests as a “death knell to the coastal communities”, the Centre for Responsible Tourism(CRT) Goa, a Church-affiliated organisation, on Monday demanded the withdrawal of the notification.

The organisation, which has been promoting the cause of coastal communities as first beneficiaries of tourism in the coastal State of Goa, issued a statement saying the clauses in the notification are detrimental to coastal ecology, will displace local communities, and affect biodiversity of coastal regions in the country, including Goa.

“The Coastal Regulation Zone notification of 2018 is a planned erosion of the CRZ notification 2011. By reducing the CRZ area to a mere 50 mts from the hazard lines, it will create an environmental crisis and damage the fragile coastal ecology resulting in imminent floods. This notification does not protect the ecology and livelihoods of the coastal inhabitants,” it said in a strongly-worded statement.

The CRT has said that the notification, issued last week, permits activities like reclamation of land for commercial activities, interference with sand dunes, large-scale recreation and drawing of ground water within the 200-500 metres from the high tide line, which is “detrimental to the coastal ecology and that will displace the local communities and affect the bio-diversity are granted positive approval” and went on to criticise the notification for “the wilful dilution and reduction in the protection given to the environment it categorically permitted”.

“This notification regularises the violations to CRZ and opens the way to further destruction of our coastal ecology,” the statement said demanding its withdrawal.

Noting its stand as pro-people, the Church-affiliated bodies in Goa have opposed several projects, including mega real estate projects in the environmentally fragile coastal villages Goa and State’s recent Master Plan of Tourism.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 1:39:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/new-crz-notification-spells-a-death-knell-to-coastal-communities/article25874932.ece

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