Skip to main content

Gujarat "replaces" Karnataka on India's map in Gujarat govt-controlled site seeking reactions for CZMP

Oil spill at Nagrol beach, Gujarat
By Rajiv Shah
How very roughshod could Gujarat government be in offering consultation with stakeholders for preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for the state could be seen from what has been called “CZMP predraft maps” for eight coastal districts – Bhavnagar, Probandar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Junagadh, Ahmedabad and Anand – for comments and suggestions before finalizing them.
In all, the state government has released 97 maps for each slot, all of them downloadable in a 47.7mb pdf file (click HERE to download), and in each of these maps, in a separate inset, Gujarat has been identified in the Indian map as Karnataka! First noted by social activist Mudita Vidrohi on her Facebook timeline, she comments, following her visit to several of Gujarat’s coastal districts, “Given the fact that the map of Gujarat has been shown as Karnataka, one may well imagine what kind of final maps would be created.”
The CZMP maps, interestingly, have been published on the state government’s Gujarat Ecology Commission website, whose visit is not easy. On seeking to visit the site through the search engine Chrome one gets the following message: “Attackers might be trying to steal your information from www.gec.gujarat.gov.in (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards)”, asking viewers to go “back to safety” or go head at their own risk! A message on similar lines came while opening the site on Firefox.
Be that as it may, Vidrohi says, the whole process of preparing CZMP is “so complicated that no person with reasonable amount of intelligence can understand the technicalities of these maps”, adding, “One wonders how people of the coastal districts will ever decipher these maps and what they mean to them in order to give their suggestions.”
According to Vidrohi each of the village she visited, she found, only a letter has been sent to the panchayat office saying seeking to explain the process. When she asked village chiefs about this letter, she says, the answer she got was, yes, some letter had come, but they are unable to understand what is expected of them.
According to her, a closer examination of these maps shows that “one of the things that goes completely missing on the CZMP maps, prepared by the government for Ahmedabad district, are legal/illegal prawn farms. While visiting the villages that have been listed under CZMP, one can see these ponds in large numbers.”

One of the 97 maps
She also observed, during her spot visits, oil spillage on Nargol beach of Umargam in Gujarat. Here, she says, as a result, “more than 25 km of coast has become toxic and polluted”, threatening “biodiversity along the coast.” She adds, “This is the fish breeding season, fisherfolks will suffer a great deal as their livelihood will be greatly affected.”
Meanwhile, Gujarat’s top environmental NGO Paryavaran Mitra, in a letter to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) member-secretary, has said, while seeing suggestions for CZMP, one notices “poor communication and misleading information about public hearing schedule”, wondering how could the public hearing could be scheduled from August 3 to September 5 when comments are to be given till August 20.
Message while seeking to open GEC site on Firebox
Signed by NGO’s Mahesh Pandya, the letter states, referring to the executive summary for the draft CZMP, published on GPCB website, “There is no mention of the villages’ names in the maps, hence it becomes difficult for the villagers or common people to identify their plots in maps. Hence, they cannot comply with the deadline”. It adds, “There are terms like active mudflats. There is no clarification or definition of mudflats or active mudflats.”
The letter wonders, “What would be the procedure to resolve the dispute once the deadline of providing the feedback or after any kind of public hearing gets over in cases of discrepancy in maps with respect to the real scenarios found by the locals/ stakeholders at a later stage.”

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
Just reading the blog was so confusing I wonder how the people actually involved are going to handle this gaffe

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.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.