Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Over 150 representatives and officials from various panchayats in Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kottayam participated in a one-day awareness training programme on coastal regulation zone (CRZ) conducted by the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) here on Wednesday.

District Collector M. Beena inaugurated the programme at the Ernakulam Town Hall in the morning. Urging the stakeholders to evolve a consensus on various aspects related to CRZ, she said that panchayat officials were facing difficulties while handling cases related to the coastal regulation zone. Dr. Beena suggested that training programmes led by experts will help in resolving such problems.

The Collector also called for steps to ensure the protection of the environment while implementing the various provisions of CRZ.

In his presidential address, N. R. Menon, member of the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority, said that the CRZ Act has opened up various opportunities for the tourism and fisheries sectors. He said the proper utilisation of the coastal regulation zone provisions will help in ensuring the development of these sectors.

Stating that the ecological condition of the coastal region should be preserved, Dr. Menon said that efforts should be made to understand the problems faced in the regional level while implementing the CRZ provisions. He said coastal zone environment protection was vital for the overall stability of the region.

M. Baba, Director of CESS, who welcomed the gathering, said the CRZ Act will help the coastal population, as it includes provisions that ensure the livelihood of the people living along the coastal region.