Coastal Zone Management Plans Delineating Sagarmala Projects?

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February 07, 2022 | 06:07 IST

Coastal Zone Management Plans Delineating Sagarmala Projects?

Wesley Edward Pereira

The Sagarala Project’s April 2016 National Perspective Plan Report under the Ministry of Shipping of the Government of India has identified 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) along the coast of India. Each of these CEZs is assigned to nearby ports. The tiny state of Goa is included in the Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ) of South Konkan-Maharashtra as part of the Sagarmala project. The South Konkan-Maharashtra CEZ layout under the Sagarmala project is assigned to the major port of Mormugao.

The development of the Chapora River, Mapusa/Moide River and Sal River has been included in Cluster-7 along with the rivers of Maharashtra. This is highlighted in the April 2016 Mapusa/Moide River Feasibility Report prepared for the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). Why should these rivers of Goa be included along with the rivers of Maharashtra?

CEZs in India have been proposed to encourage large scale commercial development projects involving industrial clusters and urban communities. The identified commercial development investment projects are to be implemented in Special Economic Zones (SEZs)/National Investment and Production Zones (NIMZs)/Special Investment Regions with transport links of these development nodes to the nearby economic/industrial corridors.

The CEZ investment projects under SEZs/NIMZs/Special Investment Regions require massive multimodal connectivity with logistic centers and trade complexes for the implementation of freight transport development plans. The economic viability of unsustainable Mopa Airport is associated with such development concepts with undesirable urban townships. SEZs were scrapped in Goa.

Is water supply for unwanted urban communities in Goa linked to building massive Kolhapur type Bandharas by destroying the river systems that originate in the Western Ghats? Were these massive Bandhara structures included in the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the Mhadei River Diversion in favor of Karnataka and Maharashtra?

Sagarmala Development Company Ltd, subordinate to the Ministry of Shipping. (SDCL) had listed 30 Sagarmala projects in Goa as of July 31, 2019. From the list of projects, at least 10 projects concern the modernization of Mormugao Port. The national waterways NW27-Cumbarjua, NW68-Mandovi and NW111-Zuari are shown as a port connection project in progress. The construction of jetties at Shiroda, Durbhat, Cortalim-Rassaim, Aldona, Sanvordem, Ribandar, Old Goa-Divar, Banastarim and Pilgao have been listed as 9 separate port modernization projects.

Therefore, in order to prevent man-made disasters in Goa, there is an urgent need to remove the coastal pier demarcation proposed as part of port modernization and other unsustainable Sagarmala projects.

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