General Secretary of The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) Olencio Simoes along with its affiliated union Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott along with 10 fishermen association submitted memorandum today to Dasharath M Redkar,Member Secretary of Goa Coastal Management Authority and to Collector North and South Goa, demanding Postponement of Public hearing notification for finalization of the draft CZMP.
Olencio stated that Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority once again has tried to silence our voices by imposing restriction on time which is limited to mere 15 miuntes, which has clearly violated the public hearing norms and EIA notification 2006 and procedure to conduct a public hearing in appendix IV, which clearly states that “every person at the venue shall be granted the opportunity to seek information or clarification”.
“Due to your lapses during the last public hearing held on 7th March 2021 on draft CZMP 2021 we had to approach the courts yet again the GCZMA and the government have dishonoured the direction given by the NGT which has directed the GCZMA to follow the norms laid down by the High Court in the Navelim-Amone public hearing. No such restrictions were imposed therein. Any such restriction would not be in line with the High Court’s order.
Simoes stated that the state government has failed to control Covid-19 and due to this Goa has recorded highest positivity rate and death rate in India.
“To control the Covid cases the Collector of North and South has issued curfew order no.8/8/2021/MAG/L&O/Vol-II/1277 and order no 37/19/2020/L & O/MAG/6210 and has extended the curfew till 21st June 2021 which clearly states that anyone violating the order will be booked under Code of Criminal procedure. So technically citing the curfew order we can freely move only 16 days prior to the public hearing date which is unfair and unjust and which has clearly violated the public hearing norms and EIA notification 2006 and procedure to conduct a public hearing ,” he said.
He said the order no. GCZMA/GEN/MISC/13-14/Part-VI/1435 dated 04/03/2021 the department of Environment and Climate Change has constituted Fishery Planning Committee for preparation of “Draft plan Comprehensive Plan For Fishermen community living in CRZ areas” this committee has not yet completed the process of identifying fishermen houses as per the gazetted order, therefore the same cannot be validated during the public hearing and therefore will not have legal value.
“The entire process of preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plans as per the guidelines laid by the CRZ notification 2011 is totally flawed and this is unacceptable on behalf of the coastal communities of Goa especially the traditional fisherfolk. Here are some of the irregularities and reasons why these public hearings needs to be cancelled/ rescheduled until such time that these issues are resolved,” he said.
He said the fishing community comprises of 60% who are above the age of 60 and therefore as senior citizens to travel from Armbol, Pernem to Parade Ground, Campal and from Talopna, Canacona to SGPDA Ground, Margao for public hearing with restricted public transportation is practically impossible and insensitive, specially when most of them are effected by Covid and some are still recovering and still Goa has the highest positivity rate till date.