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

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

Holy dip in Sabarmati? Ahmedabad industrial units discharge wastewater despite notice

By Our Representative
In a sharp admission, the Gujarat government has said that most of the industrial units of Ahmedabad, as also the city's residential houses, discharge waste water in Sabarmati, polluting the river. Notably, the river’s 11 kilometre stretch in Ahmedabad, where the riverfront has been beautified, is sought to be projected as a model for the country as a whole.