City stakeholders reject draft CZMP

Panaji: The citizens of Panaji disapproved the draft
coastal zone management plan (CZMP) during public consultation meet held on
Friday and made a series of suggestions required in the fresh coastal plan
being drawn up by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management
(NCSCM).

The citizens and fishing community members pointed out
flaws like improper demarcation of high tide lines and its colour codes, so
also they raised issues over marking of fishing zones and existing commercial
structures as well as heritage structures in the coastal maps of the city.

CCP commissioner Sanjit Rodrigues on Friday carried out
the process of public consultation to seek views of citizens including
stakeholders on the draft coastal zone management plan so as to place it before
the council meeting and then forward it to the ministry of environment and
forest for consideration.

The commissioner extended time till October 14 for
general public to submit written suggestions and objections on the draft
coastal maps of the capital city.

The draft CZMP, prepared by the National Centre for
Sustainable Coastal Management, a government-authorised agency, strategises
development along the coast.

The stakeholders during the meeting raised concern over
improper demarcation of high tide lines, fish breeding grounds and sand dunes,
missing conservative approach of mangroves among other things.

The stakeholders pointed out that local pathways used by
fishermen have not been mapped and also that no demarcation of areas of
archaeological importance and heritage sites along DB road has been shown.

The citizens demanded that the St Inez creek, which is a
part of outline development plan (ODP), be marked as a tidal creek in the fresh
coastal plan being drawn up. They also asked to make a mention of Ribandar
causeway and salt pans in the plan.

Few suggested for incorporation of land-used map and
outline development plan (ODP) approved by the Greater Panaji Planning and
Development Authority in the city’s coastal plan.

They also asked not to allow mangroves beyond the high
tide line along the foreshore of sand beach opposite the ESG complex that has
seen sand accretion, resulting in stagnation of St Inez creek water flowing
into Mandovi river and same has to be reflected in the coastal plan to be
redrafted.

A suggestion was also made to mark the complete stretch
from Aivao village to Hotel Marriot towards seaward side as ‘sand dune park’
along with fencing in the coastal maps to protect and conserve the sand dunes.

Fishing communities asked to mark the stretch from La
Marvel colony in Dona Paula up to Aivao village as oyster breeding zone.

They also proposed that Mandovi river be marked as
dolphin area as dolphins suffer from the noise pollution created by large ship
propellers and dredging.

However, objections were raised regarding a proposal to
demarcate Caranzalem area as fishing zone. The residents said that fishing zone
as per the plan has shown reaching beyond NDZ area and touches up to the
Caranzalem chapel covering the commercial area.

Later the argument was settled to demarcate 100 metres
from the high tide line as ‘no development zone’ to meet increased demands of
housing and carrying out fishing activities and suggested to show new
Miramar-Dona Paula road in the maps for proper demarcation of fishing zone.

They also asked to draw up new demarcation line up to 5
nautical miles in the sea as fish breeding zone restricting the movement of fishing
trawlers in addition to the upper limit fixed at 12 nautical miles in CRZ
notification, 2011.

To the demand of demarcating fishing activities carried
out using fishing stakes from Caranzalem to Ribandar and beyond, the CCP
commissioner asked the fisheries associations to place before him the licenses
that indicate practice of using fishing stakes along the said stretch.

The other suggestions made were to mark different fishing
activities along the coastline like parking area of canoes, net pulling zone,
and net mending shed.

The maps uploaded by the NCSCM do not contain the hazard
line which is a demarcation of areas that are vulnerable to the effects of sea
level rise, waves and tides, locals said. They demanded to mark hazard line
along the city’s coastline.

In June, the environment department uploaded the draft on
its website and sought public comments. Since then, environmentalists and
locals have claimed that critical information required to conduct public
consultation is missing from the CZMP maps and that the draft plan is not in
accordance with the guidelines set out in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)
notification of 1991 and amendments made in 2011.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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