CRZ Norms: Fearing loss of homes and livelihood, Mumbai fishermen meet minister, seek demarcation of koliwadas

With the government planning to relax the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) norms for constructions along the sea, members of the fishing community opposed to the move met Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil Tuesday to voice their concerns.
Representatives of the community reiterated their demand that the city’s 38 koliwadas be mapped and demarcated as CRZ III at the earliest, to pave the way for their makeover into new-age fishing colonies.
Following Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s announcement on April 24 about the Centre agreeing to relaxing conditions for the redevelopment of coastal slums in Mumbai, the fishing community has decided to intensify their fight over the issue of demarcating koliwadas.
The community, which has been struggling to save their traditional livelihood for decades, now fears losing their homes and livelihood to private builders and developers.
Located on some prime land of the city, the koliwadas are protected under the CRZ III, according to the community. “Relaxing CRZ norms would mean no more protection to koliwadas and land will automatically be thrown open to private developers. We are in favour of development but not at the cost of our livelihood. If the city develops, we should rightfully get our share,” said Rajhans Tapke, general secretary of the Koli Mahasangh and resident of Versova koliwada.
The fishermen pointed to real estate development in Juhu’s Moragaon koliwada dominated by the Mangela community. In the past decade, the locals have seen an engineering college, a hotel, a big residential colony and many villas come up around them.

A Rare, Pristine Estuary Comes Under Threat in Karnataka

The construction of a multi-purpose estuarine port in the Aghanashini – one Karnataka’s last free-flowing rivers – will result in damage to the ecosystem and the loss of traditional livelihoods.

Tadadi, Karnataka: When the tides are low at the mouth of the Aghanashini river, women from the village walk out onto the mudflats to collect oysters and mussels. Salt pans and mangroves outline the estuary, and in the distance is the busy fishing port at Tadadi.

American Signal Corporation Finalizes Deployment for Statewide Tsunami Early Warning System in Tamil Nadu, India

American Signal Corporation Finalizes Deployment for Statewide Tsunami Early Warning System in Tamil Nadu, India
Mass notification network will serve as an early warning for 67.5 million citizens

American Signal Corporation
17 Apr, 2017, 12:05 ET

MILWAUKEE, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 3, 2017 at its corporate office in Milwaukee, WI, American Signal Corporation (ASC) met with systems integrator and joint venture partner, United Telecom Ltd (UTL), to review and finalize the deployment of a statewide tsunami early warning system, designed for the government of Tamil Nadu, India.

The design and development of this early warning system is funded by the World Bank. It will serve to protect more than 67.5 million people who reside in Tamil Nadu and the southern Indian Peninsula from the threat of another devastating Tsunami, as well as loss of life from annual flooding.

American Signal Corporation was specifically selected by the Government of Tamil Nadu to create an early warning solution, based on the company's experience with large-scale design and deployment of similar systems worldwide. Most notably, this deployment will mirror the features of ASC's national tsunami early warning systems in Thailand and Sri Lanka, which boast ease of use, industry-leading functionality, unparalleled product quality and proven success.

"We're pleased to be selected for this project based on our proven experience in this market and the systems we've deployed to a high level of effectiveness in other regions of the world," said Richard Roe, Vice President at American Signal Corporation. "Being trusted to create an early-warning solution that will benefit upwards of 68 million people is no small honor, and it's a realization of our company's mission: to save lives every day."

Activists flay proposed coastal zone notification

anisations and environmental activists, has, while condemning the “dilution” of the Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 under the proposed notification, flayed the move as one which “will not enhance coastal governance, but rather open up India’s coastline to further commercialisation”.

Probir Banerjee, convenor, NCPC, while rejecting the proposed notification of April 17, pointed out that while the CRZ itself remains to be implemented and enforced as per the letter of the law, the new notification further dilutes the CRZ 2011.

Added problems

Mr. Banerjee, who also represents the NGO PondyCAN, which as a member of NCPC, helped bring out the Challenged Coast of India report, expressed concern that easing the current regime would exacerbate existing problems of coastal governance and leave fisher communities who share collective claims to common spaces such as beach space, further marginalised.

“In a struggle between communities and short-term commercial interests, the existing power balance alone has meant that communities are often displaced or are left with heavily altered/restricted access to precious livelihood spaces. The proposed changes to the CRZ 2011 seem set to further marginalise and exclude these communities. A provision that allows communities to build houses is meaningless when all available space can be legally claimed by other, more-powerful interests,” he said.

Given that the NCPC engaged extensively with the review process of the Coastal Management Zone notification, and its members were instrumental in shaping some of the new provisions in the CRZ 2011, “we are shocked to see that the rules governing use of coastal land are proposed to be further eased”, Mr. Banerjee said.

Even now, Chennai's oil spill incident in January can affect larvae and juvenile fish

CHENNAI: The Chennai oil spill disaster is still unfolding. Though the issue with its massive ramifications has gone out of focus due to dramatic political developments in the State, the environmental damage it has caused and future threats it poses can’t be discounted, warn marine biologists.

The major worry now is the oil deposited on the seabed can harm larvae and juvenile fish during the current breeding season.

“This is the first litmus test for the Chennai coast. When the fishermen go back into the sea in June after the fishing ban is lifted, we would have a real sense of the extent of damage caused,” said RS Vasan, regional director, National Maritime Foundation.

Meanwhile, reliable sources in the Department of Environment (DoE) told Express that the State government has ‘finally’ formed a 13-member high-level expert committee to conduct an environment impact assessment study.

The committee has been given three months to file a consolidated report. The committee is headed by H Malleshappa, director, DoE, and the first meeting was held last week. Sources said the committee will also be finalising short-term and long-term restoration plans. Kamarajar Port, Chennai Port, IIT Madras, fisheries department, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), health department and couple of NGOs are on the committee.

Close to three months have lapsed since the massive oil spill has hit Chennai coast at 3:45 am on January 28 after two ships collided off Kamarajar Port coast in Ennore. Scientists at the Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM) Project Directorate in Chennai, who are analysing the ecological footprint of the oil spill, said it has affected over 230 km of State coast from Pulicat to Cuddalore as on date.