Panaji: The current problems being faced due to
coastal regulation zone (CRZ) by the state would not have
existed if Goans had asked special status from Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru soon after the liberation, Goa Chief Minister
Digamber Kamat said on Saturday.
"At that time probably if Goans have to put up certain
demands then (India`s first Prime Minister) Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru would have agreed to it," Kamat told a gathering of
environmentalists and media at Goa university here.
He said that Nehru was in the mood to give whatever Goans
wanted at that time.
Goa, erstwhile Portuguese colony liberated in 1961, is
currently grappling with the coastal management issues.
"If Goa had to ask for a special status than Panditji
even would have given special status for the state of Goa.
Unfortunately, we did not think on those lines and that`s why
we face lots of problem," the chief minister said.
Kamat was addressing the concluding session of regional
media briefing workshop on Coasts, Coastal Populations and
their concerns organized by Centre for Science and Environment
and Goa Union of Journalists here.
Justifying Goa`s case of special exemption in the
proposed CRZ 2010 Act, he said the exemption was needed to
protect rights of the fishermen who have been staying on the
coast since ages.
"Goa had put up its case with the Ministry of Environment
and Forest (MoEF) for the exemption because our commitment is
to protect that section of society which we believe has been
staying there since many years," he added.
Kamat admitted that the developmental pressure on the
coast is increasing day by day and in the bargain the
traditional inhabitants of the coast are getting targeted.
The chief minister said the state government is committed
to protect the traditional structures and their livelihood of
the fishermen along the coast.