PANAJI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday granted the state time till December 31 to complete the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), environment minister Nilesh Cabral said. Further, the state has been told to complete public hearings by January 31, 2021.

Earlier, the state had filed an application seeking time till March 10, 2021 to complete the plan. It had stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the planning work.

The NGT has also directed the ministry for environment forest and climate change (MoEFCC) to intervene in the matter and find plausible means with the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai, to expedite the preparation of the CZMP, Cabral said.

In its application, the state government said it has ensured that no violations occur in the CRZ areas. As the plan is not yet ready, it said necessary directions are issued from time to time in terms of Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1985. Further, it submitted that no approval is being granted for any development in coastal areas till the CZMP is finalised.

The state also clarified that the delay in finalising the CZMP is neither deliberate nor wilful. In its application, the state said that there has been a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Goa which has also hampered NCSCM’s work of identifying khazan lands and mapping, plotting of the outer bunds to limit the high tide lines (HTL).

The application also stated that since local bodies had expressed desire to know what CZMP is, field visits had been organised through officials of the directorate of settlement and land records to explain the same, as well as specify what features should be incorporated in the plan as per the provisions of CRZ Notification 2011.

The state issued directions in terms of Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act calling upon all local bodies to prepare their own CZMP plan so that the same could be forwarded to NCSCM. It was one of the requests of local bodies that they may prepare their own draft CZMP. The government said that all local bodies had prepared it and the same had been forwarded to NCSCM.

The state government also stated that they have complied with the directions issued by this tribunal.



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