Goa seeks time till October 30 to prepare coastal management plan
The implementation of the coastal zone management plan (CZMP) for Goa is likely to be delayed further, as the state has sought an extension till October 30 to finalize the plan.
In November 2017, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench, headed by chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar, had set a deadline of April, 2018 for all coastal states and union territories to submit CZMPs. The ministry of environment, forest and climate change was expected to approve the plans by July 30, 2018.
A fine of Rs 5 lakh would be imposed if the states failed to comply with the order. The fine would be deducted from salaries of officers in charge of readying the plan.
The state government had entrusted the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) to prepare the plan. It had asked the agency to conduct ‘ground-truthing’ to verify the accuracy of coastal maps.
The Chennai-based institution had submitted a new draft plan to the Goa government on May 9, 2017, and its representatives had made constituency-wise presentations to MLAs and ministers, who raised objections to it on various aspects. Ironing out the several issues raised by them led to the delay.
The government had asked for waterbodies in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)-IV to be clearly demarcated as sea, lagoons, backwater, creek, bay, estuary. “For such classification of the water body, the terminology used by the Naval Hydrographic Office shall be relied upon,” it had written to the coastal management institute.
The government also wanted fish-breeding areas to be clearly marked and waterbodies demarcated as per pollution levels, following Central Pollution Control Board standards of water quality.