CRZ modification sought for development

Three major beach tourism destinations in Kozhikode district have been included in a proposal submitted by the Tourism Department to the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) for a relaxation in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms to undertake new developmental ventures.

The three destinations — Kappad, Kozhikode beach, and the Vadakara sandbank — are among the 21 beach destinations along the State’s coast seeking a favourable CRZ modification.

Even though some members of the KCZMA have expressed reservations about any relaxation of the CRZ norms and conditions, the proposal has been forwarded to the Union government for consideration.

The Kappad beach comes under the CRZ-III category, which prevents the Tourism Department from undertaking wider developmental activities. As per the proposal, now “no development is possible” within 200 metres of No Development Zone (NDZ) from High Tide Line, making the destination unattractive to investors and tourists.

The other two locations — the Kozhikode beach and the Vadakara sandbank — come under CRZ-II category, which face the same development issue, say Tourism Department officials. Though construction is permitted on the landward side of the existing beach roads or the landward sides of the existing permitted structures, restrictions are still in place for the construction of beach resorts or such other big investment ventures, they say.

Beypore left out

However, two important beaches — Beypore and Iringal — have been excluded from the development proposal as these locations have “low investment pressure” and “lower sectoral competitiveness” in the case of allied activities, according to a six-point evaluation programme conducted by the department. Similarly, over 14 other beaches in other parts of Kerala too have been exempted for various reasons.

The department, in the proposal, says the stretches proposed for modifications have been identified on the basis of specific criteria, taking into account their developmental potential, and environmental and physical characteristics.

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