Panaji: While activists say that the Blue Flag certification project for Miramar beach cannot begin as the coastal zone management plan (CZMP) for Goa is not yet in place, North Goa collector R Menaka counters that the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has already stated that CZMP and Blue Flag certification are ‘independent of each other and they cannot be clubbed together’.
The public hearing on Blue Flag certification for Miramar beach was held on September 14. The minutes mention some of the replies provided by the collector to objections and suggestions raised by participants at the meeting.“Fishing activity would not get disturbed because the entire programme is to strike a balance between the local community without disturbing their livelihood and to also maintain the ecology of the area, with minor interventions wherever required to improve the quality,” Menaka said at the meeting.
She said that though Goa is lagging behind in the country in working towards the certification, it will help the state to learn from the mistakes made by other states. For instance, the concrete structures constructed on beaches elsewhere in the country will not be replicated in Goa, she said. Similarly, mechanised cleaning of beaches would not be done in Goa, as the same has not been approved by the national jury for the project.
The activists at the meet said that the national central for sustainable coastal management (NCSCM), Chennai, should not be used for Blue Flag certification as the CZMP prepared by them is found to be faulty. The collector said that they will rope in NIO or another reputed agency to conduct the risk-assesment .