KOLLAM: The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) observed a protest day on Monday rejecting the draft Coastal Zone Regulation Notification of 2018. Raising the slogan Restore Our Coastline, Secure Our Livelihoods, they said it scales back the environmental safeguards. “In the state, we have organised a march to AG’s office in the capital city. In all other 13 districts, they sent letters to the Union environment ministry with the demand,” T. Peter, NFF general secretary, told DC.
“Before any new regulations, the state must implement the CRZ, 1991 and the CRZ 2011, and deal with violations sternly.” They also took out protest marches in coastal states across the country. According to the federation, the draft violates Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 which states that the Union shall take all such measures that it deems to be necessary or expedient for protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution.
The current CRZ, 2011, notification mandates setback zones demarcated, livelihoods protected and unchecked development curtailed. The draft notification overturns them by facilitating development and in turn, paving the way for the Sagarmala programme. Also, the MoEFCC has published the draft CRZ notification only in English and has displayed its cynicism towards the fishing communities at large, the NFF says. It demands immediate steps towards enactment of a comprehensive Coastal Regulation Zone Act, as promised by the previous government.