Applicable for building or repairing houses of area not more than 660 sq.ft.

Ending the long wait of fishermen and traditional community members for getting their applications for construction of new houses and repair of the existing ones cleared, the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) has simplified its procedures.

The committee has also decided to go soft on permitting construction of houses for the target communities.

The relaxed measures would be applicable exclusively for building or repairing houses of area not more that 660 sq feet. The housing schemes offered to the target sections by the government agencies like Indira Awas Yojana would also be benefitted, said a member of the Authority.

In the coastal areas, the benefit would be available for the target communities for construction and repair of houses located up to 200 metres landwards form the High Tide Line.

In case of backwaters, the committee has decided to reduce the No-Development Zone to 50 metres. With the decision, construction of houses of specified extent would be possible from 50 metres of the High Tide Line, he pointed out.

The KCZMA during its 62nd meeting held a few weeks ago, authorised its chairman to clear the applications of these sections on merit without waiting for the committee to consider them. With the decision, the applications can be cleared as and when it is received by the Authority and the chairman needs to place it before committee for ratification.

Earlier, each application had to be placed before the committee, which would be meeting at intervals, for approval.

The delay in convening the meeting and considering the applications had resulted in hardship to the coastal communities.

The difficulties faced by the local communities in building houses and some of the stringent provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 rules have been widely debated during the recently held general election. Some of the community organisations of the State had taken out extensive campaigns demanding government intervention for relaxation of the CRZ guidelines.

After relaxing the procedures, the Authority at its last meeting, cleared 95 applications for housing of fishermen and members of the traditional coastal communities of the State.

The decision would help the local communities to get their applications cleared without delay, said A. Ramachandran, a member of the committee.

The relaxation will be allowed in applications of target communities forwarded by the local bodies with the certificate that the applicant is a traditional fisherman.

Besides the persistent demand from the coastal communities, the local bodies implementing the government-sponsored housing schemes for the marginalised communities too had put pressure on the Authority.

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