Goa to convene coastal CMs' meet on CRZ

| 23 July 2001 22:47 IST

Accepting the suggestion made by Maharashtra, Goa plans to convene a meeting of all coastal states of India to oppose the Coastal Zone Regulation guidelines, claiming that it affects growth of tourism in the country.

Most vociferous on it at the inaugural ceremony of the tenth regional convention of Hotel and Restaurant Association of western region held here was Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chagan Bhujbal.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar publicly assured the delegates to immediately send letters to all the chief ministers of coastal states in this regard, initiating deliberations upon the ill effects of the CRZ.

The CRZ, primarily, prohibits any construction within 500 metres from the high tide line along the beach. The green NGOs, since coming into force of these guidelines, got quite a few constructions along the coast demolished by approaching the courts.

Speaking on the theme of the convention 'tourism : promote or perish', Bhujbal claimed that the CRZ restrictions have adversely affected the tourism industry in the coastal states as the industry cannot provide hotels along the beaches for Indian as well as foreign tourists.

"If such a restriction was in force 400 years ago, Chatrapati Shivaji would have not been able to build Sindhudurg and Vijaydurg forts in the sea to fight against the foreign invaders", commented Bhujbal.

"Goa is caught up between the devil and the deep sea", said Goa CM Parrikar, elaborating further that the tiny state's CRZ extends up to 65 kms inside through the rivers, where it touches the forests. There begin the stringent rules of forest ministry, making any development impossible, he added.

The view was also supported by tourism ministers of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, besides Chattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi as well as veteran journalist and MP Pritish Nandi, who presented a key note address at the convention.

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