CRZ affected residents in coastal villages of Goa are bracing for a battle with the government, ahead of the axe which looms large on their heads in the face of high court directives to the panchayat bodies to identify and demolish illegal structures within the coastal regulation zone.
Amidst allegations of fraud in the process of determining illegal structures, the residents of these areas have pledged to expose the pitfalls in the system in a bid to present their case strongly.
Alleging that the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority(GCZMA) nor the land survey department have proper records to establish the existence of the structures before February 19 1991, the villagers maintained that the government agencies were relying on unreliable data to determine the legality of structures within the CRZ.
On Tuesday, 17th march 2009, the public meeting held by the Goenchea Ramponkarancho ekvott (GRE) and other coastal organisations issued an ultimatum to the government of Goa to regularise all residential houses and work sheds built before December 31 2007 by 10th of April 2009. Presently structures within 200 metres from the high tide line face demolitions if erected after a cut off date of February 19, 1991.
Speaking at the meeting were the leader of the opposition Mr Manohar Parrikar who promised his party's support, MLA Vijai Pai Khot who lamented that only Goa was being singled out for such demolitions while neighboring states were being ignored and the general secretary of the GRE Mr Mathanhy Saldanha who implored Goans to stand united on this issue by crossing religious and caste barriers. Others who also spoke on the occasion were Mr Floriano Lobo, Mr Laxmikant Parsenkar, Mr Christopher Fonseca and MR Agnelo Rodrigues.