CHENNAI: Members from fishing communities from across the State met in the city and decided to develop their own maps on land use pattern in coastal areas. The maps would determine infrastructural growth along the shoreline as per the Coastal Regulation Zone norms.
Leaders from the fishing community alleged that the land use pattern prepared by authorities had ignored the traditional land use rights of the fishing community and was an attempt to pave way for damaging the environment and infrastructure along the coast.
“Only members of a fishing village will be able to provide data about the land use pattern in their village and coastal areas. It cannot be left to an expert, how much ever be his scientific calibre.
As such the fishing community in all the 500 odd villages need to prepare their own maps”, said K Saravanan of Urur Kuppam Meenava Kootaravu Sangam.
At the meeting, members from the fishing community in Chennai, Thoothukudi, Kancheepuram and other districts who had already started works on the maps shared their feedback.
The National Coastal Protection Campaign has agreed to extend training and support to various fishing villages for preparing their own maps.
It was also decided to start district level awareness campaign and mobilisation on the issue. Gilbert Rodrigo of the Tamil Nadu Puducheri Fisherpeople Federation said that inspite of the notification calling for one third of the members of the state and district Coastal Zone Management Authorities to be members from the fishing community, there wasn’t even a single fishermen in any of these bodies.
The convention also passed resolutions to press the government to prevent permits to any projects requiring space on coastal or ocean commons until the final CZMP is announced and to expedite the identification of CRZ violations.
Resolution against dilution of law
The convention passed a resolution to prevent the dilution of the six key environmental laws by the High level Committee on Environment and Forests and Climate Change that was set up by the Modi government. The leaders pointed out that these Acts govern much of the rules on environmental protection including the CRZ notification.