The Goa Foundation wrote to the GCZMA on 3.3.2021 protesting the limit of 30 days laid down in the public notice for the consultation on the draft CZMPs.

The Foundation told the GCZMA that the 30 day limit was not legal, as it was contrary to the 60 day limit provided by the Environment Protection Rules, 1986, which is the basis for the public hearing procedures.

The Foundation will send its objections to the draft CZMPs to the GCZMA within the 60 day period and requested all others to do so, since the GCZMA has no authority or power to reduce the limit to 30 days.

This 60 day period is unconnected with the public hearing process. People are welcome to make their point of view felt during the public hearing, but also have the right to file detailed written objections before 30 March 2021.

The Foundation alleged that several gross errors have been allowed into the draft CZMPs. Re-zoning of beach areas like Querim (Tiracol), Palolem, Cola have been carried out without any legal basis. Each village community is finding hundreds of errors in the village plans.

The Foundation blamed the GCZMA for putting up the maps for the public hearing without examining them first. As a result, all the errors pointed out by village communities during the 2019 public consultation have remained in the new draft plans. This only means all village level inputs into the plan process have been ignored. This is wholly unacceptable.

Changes made to show several illegal constructions in the draft CZMPs (when several legitimate constructions have been left out) indicates indirect influence on the preparation of the draft CZMPs. This may require a criminal investigation.

Claude Alvares