“It is most respectfully submitted that there has been a sharp rise in number of Covid-19 cases in the state of Goa, which has also resulted in hampering of the work,” Goa has told the NGT.
Earlier, the tribunal had given the state an extension of up to January 31, 2020 to submit its comments to the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai.
Accordingly, the NCSCM was asked to carry out the work of preparing the CZMP for Goa by April 30.
Following the NGT’s 2019 order, Goa had immediately written to the NCSCM informing it about the deadlines set by the tribunal.
As local bodies had asked the state to explain what the CZMP would constitute, field visits were organised through officials of the directorate of settlement and land records from November 25-29 and on December 5, 2019, in North Goa and from November 25-December 5, 2019, in South Goa.
On December 10, Goa asked all its local bodies to prepare their own CZMPs and submit them on or before December 20 so that they could be forwarded to NCSCM. The CZMPs, as prepared by the local bodies, were forwarded on January 7, 2020, in compliance with the NGT’s directions that the process should be completed before January 31.
In the meantime, Goa also filed a representation before the Union environment ministry to amend the CRZ Notification 2011 so as to limit the high tide line up to bunds or sluice gates constructed prior to the CRZ Notification of 1991. This representation was approved by the National Coastal Zone Management Authority on January 13, 2020. The state received the minutes of the meeting only on January 31. On that day itself, Goa informed the NCSCM about the change.
On February 19, the NCSCM asked Goa to submit details of its bunds, sluice gates and khazan lands, and the body was provided with plans of 1974-75. The NCSCM then asked for details of CRZ Class II areas in municipal areas, which were provided to it.
Goa wrote to the NCSCM on April 1 to remind it to send the draft CZMP at the earliest. “However, the NCSCM, vide communication dated April 2, 2020, replied saying it is unable to carry out any work due to the lockdown and curfew restrictions in Chennai,” Goa has told the NGT.