CRZ panel for allowing more construction in grama panchayats

The State’s coastal grama panchayats will have more land areas for construction if a recommendation by a government-appointed expert committee is approved.

A three-member expert committee, which was appointed to review the draft of the Coastal Zone Management Plan to be prepared as per the CRZ 2019 notification, is understood to have suggested moving all the developed grama panchayats of the State to Zone 2 of the CRZ from the current Zone 3.

The committee has Additional Chief Secretary (environment) V. Venu, environmental consultant P.Z. Thomas, and lawyer P.B. Sahasranamam, as its members.

There would be very little restriction on construction activities in Zone 2, which includes areas that are developed up to the shoreline and falling within the municipal limits. Zone 3 includes coastal areas and areas within municipal limits or legally designated urban areas that are not substantially built-up.

Once moved to Zone 2, there will not be any No Development Zone where construction activities are banned. Construction activities can be undertaken towards the landward side of the holdings from the building line of the pre-1991 approved structures and roads.

It was earlier estimated that 245 coastal grama panchayats of Kerala will come under the CRZ regime where no new development activities will be permitted in the area between High Tide Line (HTL) and 200 metres towards the landward side, under the CRZ 2011 notification. Later, the CRZ 2019 notification further reduced the No Development Zone in various categories.

The panel is understood to have banked on an order of the Local Self Government Department issued on October 13 this year classifying 398 village panchayats as legally designated urban areas in the State for submitting its recommendation on the CRZ regime.

The State government had earlier taken the stand in the Supreme Court in a case related to the closing down of liquor outlets along the State and National Highways that all the villages of Kerala were of semi urban nature. Now, the State government could not take a different stand regarding the classification of grama panchayats, sources said.

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Printable version | May 14, 2022 6:57:21 pm |