The government's proposal to delete portions of Buckingham canal from the purview of Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) has been rejected by the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA).
The CRZ rules state that the development along rivers, creeks and backwaters has to be regulated up to a distance where “the tidal effects are experienced which has to be determined based on salinity concentration of 5 parts per thousand (ppt).”
Based on the survey conducted by the Institute of Remote Sensing, Anna University, the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA) argued that the salinity level in the 15.7-km stretch of the canal between Kotturpuram and Sholinganallur is only 1.0 to 2.0 (ppt).
It concluded that this stretch, which includes villages such as Tiruvanmiyur, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam and Injambakkam, has no tidal influence and hence must be removed from the purview of the CRZ.
The national authority disagreed with the State authority.
It remarked that the reduction of salinity level “might be due to the obstruction of flow of seawater into the canal” and hence the conclusions are to be treated only as temporary and rejected the proposal.
It also reminded the State authority that that there was a proposal to make it a navigational canal by the Ministry of Surface Transport.
The TNSCZMA also informed the NZCMA that the demarcation of the high tide and low tide lines for the entire coastal area of the State has been entrusted to Anna University and the project is in its final stages.
“The entire activities of SCZMA is being looked after by only one person in the Department of Environment. Therefore, the monitoring mechanism is weak,” it admitted and requested the Ministry to provide necessary financial support to strengthen it.
In January, for the second time, the Expert Appraisal Committee for Coastal Regulation Zone (Infrastructure Development and Miscellaneous Projects), refused Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the elevated expressway from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal to be constructed partly along the Cooum.