The M S Swaminathan Committee Report on Coastal Management Burnt
Posted by egovindia on August 3, 2006
The M S Swaminathan Committee Report Burnt
The Indian Governments idea of bringing in “Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan” under the M S Swaminathan Committee recommendations has met with stiff resistance from the Fishing Community. The New Report brought out by the Swaminathan Committee (The Coastal Management Zone or CMZ) was burnt by the Kerala Independent Fish Workers Federation (KSMTF) on 27th July at Trivandrum.
The then Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi had proposed in 1981 that no permanent constructions should be undertaken within 500 metres of the high-tide line. This suggestion was given legal content by the Ministry of Environment and Forests through the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification dated 19th February, 1991 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
This was amended nearly 19 times to suit the interests of industries coming up in the coasts. Due to the numerous representations that have been made for exemptions from the provisions of 1991 Notification, the Ministry of Environment and Forests therefore set up in July 2004 a Committee to review the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (CRZ) of 1991. And hence the M S Swaminathan Committee was given the task of reviewing the existing notification. The Swaminathan Committee came up with their recommendations in February 2005. That was known as Coastal Management Zone (CMZ).
The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification had conserved and protected the fishing communities to some extent. The new recommendations by the M S Swaminathan committee totally ignores the housing and other rights of the fishing community. Thus the CMZ rules are totally for the business lobby and does totally ignore the communities that have lived on the coasts from time immemorial. The CMZ rules are posing a major challenge to the fishing community.
The Fishing Community demanded that the CMZ rules be reviewed before bringing it into force. The 12 nautical mile specification under the CMZ rules is a good for the deep-sea sand miners and also for setting up hazards industries like the Ship Breaking units. The Kerala Independent Fish Workers Federation (KSMTF) questioned the inclusion of these 12 nautical miles under this new recommendation. The Vulnerability line also is a questionable factor since there has not been any mapping of the vulnerability line of the Indian coasts. So the vulnerability line will only make the Communities on the Coast Vulnerable said the President of the Federation (KSMTF) Mr.T.Peter.
He added that the CMZ rules by the M S Swaminathan Committee are framed to facilitate the growth of Tourism, Sand Mining, SEZs and Major Industries on the Indian Coasts. CMZs will make the coastal communities vulnerable and extinct.
Mr. T.Peter added that such recommendations should not be implemented without consulting the coastal communities. He wondered how could such rules come up without even consulting the communities.
Under the banner of KSMTF the community people marched to the Secretariat at Trivandrum from the Martyr’s Memorial by shouting slogans and raising their protest against the Swaminathan Committee report. In front of the Secretariat the report was burnt.
Others who spoke at the meeting included Kariappan, Elias, Andrew, Elizabeth Antony, Frisca and Magline. The main demand of the persons who spoke was that the M S Swaminathan committee report should not be implemented at all. The report must be reviewed and any new rule that is proposed should come up only after consulting with the coastal communities.