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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

HC issues notice to environment ministry over HTL petition

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Panaji: The High Court of Bombay at Goa has issued notice to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFC) on a petition challenging a part of the clause of the amendment notification on high tide line (HTL) and khazans in Goa. This petition has been filled for the rehabilitation of Goa’s ecological endowment, ‘the khazans’.

The petition states that a recent amendment dated May 1, 2020 to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2011 – which was introduced in the connection with the demarcation of the high tide line in the CRZ area in which khazan lands exist – allegedly erroneously classifies mangroves found within the khazan areas in the CRZ and to be protected as such.

The impugned amendment ostensibly (and in good faith) needs to provide blanket offers to all mangroves in CRZ notification to those mangroves which have grown within the khazan lands as well. In relation to the khazan, mangroves can only be encouraged and protected outside the khazan bunds, not within.

The petitioner thus claims that the mangroves within the khazans are a result of mismanagement of the embankments and sluice gates. They are therefore an undesirable development not intended. If they are protected, the khazan areas cannot be rehabilitated.

However, the petition does not challenge the definition of the HTL in the State introduced by the same amendment. Hence the petitioner is seeking deletion of only a part of the clause of the amendment notification 2020 on grounds that it is contrary to the objectives of the CRZ notification.

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