Hotspots of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations in the country will be identified soon to help the States in curbing them, according to C.T.S Nair, chairman of the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority.
Satellite imageries of the coastal belt, dating back to 1991, a benchmark year regarding the CRZ, and post-1991 imageries would be provided to the States. The Ministry of Environment and Forests had promised to provide satellite imageries with the support of the Indian Space Research Organisation and other agencies. This was decided at a meeting of the chairpersons of the State coastal zone management authorities, convened by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in New Delhi last week, Mr. Nair, who took part in it, said.
Matching the reports
Authorities in the States, on their part, should carry out “ground truthing.” The imageries would have to be matched with field reports. Though the Ministry, while issuing the CRZ 2011 notification, had suggested that the State authorities identify the violations in their respective areas within six months, it may take some more time to complete the task considering the enormity of the job, officials said.
A proposal for strengthening the State authorities for the effective implementation of the CRZ 2011 Act was also under active consideration of the Ministry.
“The Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority has constituted a three-member committee to recommend measures to be taken for implementing the new guidelines. The committee will also look into the State-specific situations and the reported contradictions in some of the provisions of the notification. The issues, which will be identified by the committee, will be taken up with the Ministry,” Dr. Nair said.
The Authority had decided to revamp and update its website as suggested by the Ministry to bring in transparency in its functioning. All decisions and activities of the Authority would be placed in public domain through the website. The National Informatics Centre was assigned the task of revamping the website and making it a user-friendly one, he added.
The Authority had started applying the 2011 norms with effect from January 22 in cases that came up before it seeking CRZ clearance.
Lack of infrastructure facilities was an area of concern for the Authority. At present, enforcement of the CRZ guidelines was managed by the staff of the Department of Science and Technology of the State government as an additional responsibility.
“The Authority does not have any separate entity and infrastructure for the implementation of the CRZ norms,” a member of the three-member committee said.