[Reader-list] Fish workers' group ‘reject' pre-draft CRZ 2010 notification

T Peter peter.ksmtf at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 22:50:53 IST 2010

Fish workers' group ‘reject' pre-draft CRZ 2010 notification

Date:19/06/2010 URL:

Our Bureau

Kochi, June 18

The National Coastal Protection Campaign (NCPC), a collective
comprising of a broad range of fish-worker groups including the
National Fish-workers Forum (NFF), fish-worker support organisations
and environmental groups jointly rejected the Ministry of
Environment's ‘pre-draft' CRZ 2010 notification, saying that it is
anti-people, anti-environment and pro-industry.

Most of the concerns and issues raised during the public consultation
process undertaken by the Environment Ministry between August 2009 and
March 2010 have been ignored in the ‘pre-draft', despite assurances
from the Minister that these would be taken on board, Mr
V.Vivekanandan, Convenor, NCPC said in a statement issued here.

The contents of this pre-draft are extremely disappointing as it is
grossly inadequate to control the rampant industrialisation on the
Indian coastline. It also fails to address the dwelling and livelihood
rights of the fishing community, providing only token concessions, he

Mr T. Peter, President, Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation
and Secretary, NFF pointed out that the Kerala fishermen have been
demanding the right to construct houses 50 m landward of the High Tide
Line. In the name of special dispensation for Kerala, he said that
this is now proposed for all who can claim ‘local community' status.
This will only further marginalise fishing communities who are unable
to retain their lands in the face of competition from tourism lobbies
and other interests, he added.

Besides, many of the recommendations contained in the “Final Frontier
Report”, submitted by the MS Swaminathan committee in 2009 have been
completely ignored. On the issue of port development, the Swaminathan
committee had recommended a moratorium on new ports until their
cumulative impacts were studied. However, the pre-draft makes no
effort to control the growth of ports through a zoning system that
keeps port developments at least 25 km away from the most critical
habitats (CRZ 1 areas), as suggested by many.

The issue of the carrying capacity of the coastline with reference to
developmental projects is completely missing. The proliferation of
mega ports near CRZ1 and other ecologically sensitive areas has been a
matter of controversy for some time now, from Dhamra on the eastern
coast, to Mundra and Tadri on the west, Mr Sanjiv Gopal, Oceans
Campaign Manager, Greenpeace India said.

There are currently over 300 ports proposed along the coast, of which
over 200 are notified. This would translate to roughly a port every
20-25 km. Besides its own impact, port development is invariably
accompanied by other industries, power plants, railway lines,
highways, hotels, SEZs, residential complexes, etc, that can have
multiple detrimental impacts on the coast.

Ms Matanhy Saldanha, Chairperson, National Fishworkers Forum, called
upon the Ministry to incorporate the specific inputs that have been
provided to them by groups such as NCPC and come out with a
notification that strengthens not dilutes the protection of India's
coasts and the communities that depend on them.

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