Impractical to get draft CZMP finalised by Nov 15: Cabral

Panaji: Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral on Monday said
that it will be impractical for the government to meet the deadline set by the
National Green Tribunal (NGT) for getting the draft coastal zone management
plan (CZMP) 2011 prepared and approved by the Union Ministry of Environment,
Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) by November 15.

“Practically if you go to see, it will be
difficult…practically it is not possible. We have to finish, we will try to
squeeze in how much we can, we will see…right now I can’t say but yes we will
try our level best to get it done,” said Cabral while speaking to ‘The Navhind
Times’.

“November 15 is the finalisation date. Technically, my
department ought to finish by October 10 and send it to Goa Coastal Zone
Management Authority (GCZMA) and they have to send it to the National Centre
for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM). Thereafter, one month mandatory
notice has to be given for objections and suggestions and then the public
hearing,” he said. Cabral said that only a few village panchayats (VPs) have
submitted their own plans and they have been sent to NCSCM for comments, asking
the central agency to specify the recommendations that can be incorporated in
the final CZMP and the recommendations that they can’t include.

“(In case of) the VPs that have asked for help, we are
going to send our officials from this week. Those VPs that are not responding
to us…we feel that they are okay with our plan and we will go ahead with that,”
the Environment Minister said.

Cabral said that the state government has not taken any
decision on filing a ‘review’ application before the NGT against its order that
has stayed the implementation of the Goa beach shack policy.

“We are looking at prospects; it’s the same bench, so how
can we expect them to change their own order. In mining matter, we never filed
a review petition before the same bench. It (has) got no meaning. Now they
(NGT) have decided, so there is no question of review petition, we will wait
and see what to do,” Cabral said.

He said that the traditional shack operators have been
advised to knock the doors of the Supreme Court against the order passed by the
green court, citing that their livelihood would be affected.

The green watchdog has stayed the implementation of the
beach shack policy, as the state has failed to comply with the NGT order that
had asked the state government to prepare and submit its draft CZMP 2011 to the
MoEF&CC.

“I have told the shack owners to approach the Supreme
Court with a prayer to vacate the NGT’s stay order, and tell the court about
the problems they would face due to the order. We are yet to obtain the order.
As soon as we receive a hard copy, we will put up the file before the
government. In the meantime, shack operators can go ahead and file a petition
against the NGT’s order and we will support them,” Cabral said.

When contacted, president of Shack Owners’ Welfare
Society (SOWS) Cruz Cardozo said that they will seek a legal opinion on challenging
the order of the NGT in any particular higher court only after they receive a
copy of the order. “Once we receive the order, we will consult our legal
experts and also see what the government has to say,” Cardozo said.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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