Allow traditional fishermen and toddy tapers to carry out business in the beach belt

Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, said that a provision is needed to be made in the present CRZ notification  “to allow the locals to carry out commercial activities in the beach belt.” Lobo said that “many cases are pending in different courts. Our old habitants staying in the beach belt cannot do commercial activities. They can only repair and extend their houses. Locals were into tourism-related business much before the CRZ rules came into existence. And, as such, there needs to be a rider in the present notification of the CRZ to allow traditional fishermen and toddy tapers to carry out business,” he added. He said that the Ministry for Environment and Forest needs to change the rules as most of this traditional inhabitants are into different tourism-related businesses like guesthouses, restaurants, and supermarket. The Calangute MLA was speaking to the media after he congratulated Pooja Matkar on her being elected to the post of deputy sarpanch of Calangute. Lobo, speaking further, said that “first CRZ notification came into existence in 1991, and amendments followed thereafter from the Ministry of Environment and Forest. Later in 2011, the CZMP came into existence. The plan needs to show the traditional houses of fishermen and toddy tappers, who are the old settlers. There are also other activities being done by traditional fishermen and other locals.” He said that “the GCZMA has to draw a plan showing all the activities that can be carried out by the traditional fishermen and toddy tapers. Even structures of the fishermen located in 500 HTL area and above needs to be shown. The NGT has put a lot of strictures. The locals cannot carry out repairs of the houses. People are facing problems due to the CRZ. The NGT has put pressure on GCZMA, which has shown in the plan mangroves but these are our fields, which need to be revived, and after the mangroves, 50-meter buffer zone is shown. Mangroves have grown due to the breaching of Sinquerim bandh, which needs to be reconstructed, if not the locals will be face problem,” he said.

Speaking further, the Calangute MLA said that “the most important thing is that the GCZMA is going by the 1970 plan, which needs to be rectified as most of our traditional fishermen’s houses are not shown in this plan. RP 2021 needs to be taken as the base by the GCZMA for drawing their plan. We need justice to be done to our traditional habitants.” He further said that the reconstruction of traditional houses has been stopped for the last 3 years and added that “only repair of houses is being allowed. If any major repair is to be carried out, the GCZMA is not giving permission.”