Friday, 15 June 2018

Defiance against Draft CRZ notification 2018

Date: 15th June 2018

The Director,
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,
(IA-III Division)
Telefax: 011-24695340
J-615, Jal Block, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan,
Jor Bagh Road, New Delhi – 110003

Subject: Defiance against Draft CRZ notification 2018


This is in response to the Public Notice dated 18.04.2018 on your ministry’s website with subject “Draft Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2018 – reg.” signed by Arvind Nautiyal calling for comments/ suggestions from all stakeholders within 60 days. Our comments as under:

1. Draft CRZ notification 2018 aimed at supersession of Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2011 excludes Goa from special protection in spite of its most fragile ecology. This made us to reflect deeper after our attempts to activate CRZ laws proved futile for the State of Goa. Recently we filed one complaint with Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) against the construction of bund on the banks of Mandovi River involving cutting down of mangroves in CRZ I B. Construction work sanctioned and funded by Agriculture department, (Government of Goa) and being carried on by private contractor with supervision of Naveli-Goltim Communidade. Our investigations revealed that this work worth more than 10 crore is being carried on without CRZ clearance. RTI queries revealed that Agriculture department never sought permissions from Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA). On the contrary after our complaint GCZMA carried on joint site inspection with us, prepared report but never shared with us even after requesting to do so, and more importantly did not stop the bund construction work in CRZ area. After our investigations we leaned from Mr. Nelson Azavedo, Attorney of the Naveli-Goltim Communidade that CRZ laws are illegally enforced in Goa and Government of India has no jurisdiction to govern any of the Goa’s land.

2. This peculiar situation has arisen due to different colonial history of India and Goa with differing Jurisprudence. While India was governed and ruled by British, Goa was governed by Portuguese with far different legal practice. Portuguese laws in Goa applicable till date conflict with Indian laws relating to land. Portuguese signed Foral document in 1533 with the officials of local self governing village bodies in Goa known as communidades guaranteeing their autonomy in governance of land and village administration. This is a separate history from British rule in India.

3. Even though India attained so called Independence in 1947 its Constitution clearly prescribes dependence upon laws of the British government via Article 147. This is because India was ruled by British and Goa was not. So Constitution is relevant to ex-British colony and not to Goa which was never a British colony.

4. This system continued till Goa got merged into India in December 1961 after Congress government led by Jawaharlal Nehru ordered Indian Army march into Goa on December 17th 1961 and on 18th December 1961 mid night Soviet Union exercised veto power over UN Security Council resolution to help India in its mission. India established the so-called control over Goa on 19th December 1961. Though this event is known popularly as “Goa’s Liberation”, according to one of the Supreme Court of India’s Judgment relating to mining “Goa was annexed through Conquest”.

5. Prior to this conquest India had its Consulate in Goa. Goa was a separate country. With the conquest political status of Goa changed overnight from being a separate country attached to Portugal to Union territory of India. Indian rule in Goa sidelined communidades and established Panchayat rule at village level. This sadly, caused harm to the self-governing system already in place and introduced secret vote based democracy. Commundades are democracy without secret voting but open direct deliberative democracy.

6. Opinion Poll that took place in 1967 it was not whether people of Goa wanted to be part of India or to be Independent nation. Law and economics colluded to severely compromise Goa’s ecological identity.

7. This is particularly so after 30th May 1987 when Goa was granted status as a separate State within India. The first cabinet meeting itself past tourism master plan within 24 hours of Statehood crowding Goa’s beaches with luxury hotels from North to South of Goa. This was opposed by Student organizations and Tourism Master Plan was dropped.

8. Goa faced renewed pressures on Coast from tourism lobbies after India adopted new economic policy in 1991 when Finance Minister Manmohan Singh ushered in New Economic Policy of Globalization. Several Golf Courses and Star Hotels were proposed on several beaches and land acquired but People of Goa fought back to stop at the planning stage itself. Since then people of Goa has been continuously battling to defend its shores from tourism, rivers from dredging from shipping and mountains from mining.

9. Draft Coastal Regulations Zone Notification is further intensification of this 1961 conquest of Goa, now at the behest of BJP. BJP is funded by corporate rather lavishly and it has grown to be one of the richest Political Party in the World with declared income of Rs. 1034 crore for the financial year 2016-17.

10. More dangerously, functioning of MoEF itself has been viewed with suspicion as Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has publicly stated in past that MoEF accepts bribes to grant Environmental Clearances.

11. Dr. Shailesh Nayak Committee never visited Goa to understand Goa’s  situation from mass of people. Why? 

12. If No Development Zone (NDZ) is applicable within notified Port Limits then it is applicable to Goa’s six National Waterways that are also under Jurisdiction of Mormugao Port Trust?

People of Goa are fully aware of Communidades as self-governing institutions. Government of India cannot full the People of Goa. CRZ in Goa doesn’t stand fruitful in anyway when Commuidades are true decision making bodies since time immemorial. So the issue is not of CRZ but of Freedom from Political regime that has introduced this notification to benefit corporates and banks in search of places to destroy ecology. At the end of 60 days comes 18 June which for us is a day of struggle for freedom, a day of defiance, Goa Revolution Day.

There will be a mass uprising in case these draft coastal regulation notification 2018 are finalized and enforced in Goa.

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,
Maggie Silveira
Goa Unit

Copy: Member Secretary, Goa Zone Management Authority, Porvorim, Goa


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