For the 450 families residing in the Bonavista Fishermen Colony of Vady Beach area in Kollam city, Tuesday will mark the realisation of their twenty-five year-old demand for title deeds to the land on which they live. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) which came into effect from 1991 came in the way of granting title deeds to these families.
But now it is through a special effort from the Revenue Department at the instance of the Kollam Tahasildar M. Vishwanathan that the Bonavista Colony families are getting the permanent title deeds. Mr. Vishwanathan engaged the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) to conduct a status study report on the colony vis-à-vis granting of title deeds.
The CESS is one of the agencies authorised by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to demarcate the high tide line (HTL) and low tide line (LTL) for an area. Guidelines for the purpose have been issued by the MoEF. The colony in question falls with the Tangasseri Fishing Harbour complex.
Though the colony comes within the 500 meter CRZ HTL of the landward side, the CESS study has come to the conclusion that the colony comes under category-11 of the CRZ classification under the Coastal Zone Management Plan in corporations and municipalities.
As per CRZ provisions, in areas coming under category-11, construction activities are permitted on the landward side of the existing road and authorised structures. But activities prohibited in CRZ like establishment of new industries, discharge of untreated effluents and even setting up of fish processing units are prohibited.
It was on the basis of the CESS status report that the Kollam Corporation gave the permission to the Revenue Department to permanent pattayams to the Bonavista Colony families.