Skip to main content

Govt of India, coastal state govts, hand-in-glove with corporates, are out to loot coastal natural resources

By Pradip Chatterjee*

The Government of India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has, on 18th April 2018, notified a Draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018 and has asked for comments from stakeholders within 60 days of its publication. MoEFCC has notified the new draft CRZ Notification when:
  1.  Thousands of violations of CRZ 1991 and CRZ 2011 Notifications have already destroyed large parts of the coast and its natural resources;
  2. The Central and State Governments have miserably failed in their duty to book the violators, let alone prevent those;
  3. The Governments of coastal states have repeatedly failed in preparing Coastal Zone Management Plans and appropriate Coastal Zone Maps; 
  4. The MoEFCC and concerned State Governments have been put under Judicial monitoring by the apex Green Tribunal of the country to prepare and submit CZMPs and Maps within July 2018.
The Government of India along with the coastal state Governments are hand-in-glove with the corporate and business houses who are out to loot the coastal natural resources. In a travesty of environmental governance the Central and State Governments keep their eyes shut to the illegal activities on the coastal land and waters by the corporate and business houses. Without taking any measure against the violators of the law they are shamelessly changing the law itself.
Not only this. The MoEFCC is blatantly misusing the power conferred on it by the law of the country. The Environment Protection Act of 1986, under its section 3, states that:
"Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government, shall have the power to take all such measures that it deems to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution".
The MoEFCC has been shamelessly misusing the power given to it for upkeep and betterment of the environment, to open up the coast and its natural resources to further plunder by watering down and/or changing the restrictions put in place by CRZ Notification. MoEFCC amended the CRZ 1991 Notification no less than 25 times, most of which were aimed at relaxing the restrictions on harmful constructions and activities.
The story of CRZ 2011 Notification has been no different. And now MoEFCC under the Draft CRZ 2018 Notification is proposing to cut down the no development zone from 200 meters to 50 meters on large stretches of the coast. They are proposing to cut down the 100 meter CRZ area in the case of rivers, creeks and backwaters etc. from 100 meters to 50 meters. They are even proposing to open up eco-sensitive CRZ-I areas like mangroves to tourism. And all these are being done in exercise of the power conferred to the Government to protect and better the environment. This is perjury.
The Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum (DMF) calls upon all fish workers' collectives, environmental organisations and concerned citizens of the country to rise up in protest. Our country's natural resources are being devastated. The livelihood of millions of fisher people is facing destruction. The Government, supposed to be the custodian of the country's natural resources, is selling them off to the corporate looters.
Rise up and protest.
---
*With Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.