Following the debacle of the CZMP public hearing, we at Goencho Avaaz Party conducted a massive awareness drive to explain to villagers of Candolim, Sinquerim, Oxel, Mandur, Bogmalo, Aldona, Colva and Chinchinim etc how the plan could adversely impact their lives and livelihoods.
Working tirelessly with these village panchayats during the course of last week, we
sought to educate Goans on a plethora of issues relating to their specific villages in the Coastal Zone Management Plan.
“As a political party that is of the people, by the people
and for the people, we stand steadfast in our endeavor to always place the interests of Goans at the forefront. We believed that Goans had a right to be educated on the pitfalls of this new plan,” they said.
Hence, GA says, two of their members Captain Viriato Fernandes and Roshan Mathias went from village to village to explain the anomalies in the plan and to answer specific queries of villagers relating to the ground situation in their respective villages.
At these meetings,villagers expressed their consternation at the speed with which the government was fast-tracking all the processes in order to deprive people of the time required to study
the plans and to discover the disastrous planning that was being carried out. In a move that is clearly illegal, villagers were also horrified to find that even though port limits are not supposed to be featured in the CZMP, they have been forcefully and deliberately marked. Besides the maps of all the villages are still not uploaded on the
website, showcasing the desperation of the government to get this plan cleared and
implemented at any cost.
Roshan Mathias, Vice President of Goencho Avaaz Party said: ”Clearly the government was banking on the villagers not being able to participate in this vital exercise that affects and afflicts them. Watching how Goans have been side-lined on
this critical issue, we at Goencho Avaaz Party decided that it was imperative to conduct
these awareness meetings to bring Goans up to speed on this subject and to make
them aware of the dire consequences that the current CZMP could have on their futures. Why is the government so keen to keep people at arm’s length and to run roughshod over them?”
GA says it’s was humbled by the gratitude that villagers showed us. Many were struggling to understand how to read the maps and figure out the direct implications of this ill
conceived plan. Villagers also expressed intense anger at the manner in which they were prevented from speaking to record their objections at the public hearing by barring
their entry to the venue.
Another of our members, Captain Viriato Fernandes, State Convenor of Goencho Avaaz Party said: ” The CZMP should be in the best interests of Goa and her people. The plan in its current avatar is a farce and merely an attempt to hoodwink people at the behest of vested corporate interests to the detriment of the state. In 2019, through panchayats and gram sabhas, people across the length and breadth of Goa, painstakingly conceptualized and developed a coastal zone management plan that served and benefitted their respective villages.
“We demand to know why the government has chosen to deliberately ignore that plan and instead come up with this new and incredibly
dangerous plan that would destroy Goa and her people.Is the Goa government perhaps
acting under the orders of select corporates who are out to loot and plunder Goa?”, they asked.