Ministry notifies new CRZ norms

The amendments open up coastline for tourism, construction activities

Published - January 23, 2019 09:05 am IST - KOCHI

Too close:  Apartments have come up in violation of the CRZ norms along the Chilavannur Kayal in Kochi.

Too close: Apartments have come up in violation of the CRZ norms along the Chilavannur Kayal in Kochi.

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest released the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2019 notification on Friday, opening up the coastline of the country for construction and tourism activities.

The new notification could result in reduction of No Development Zones (NDZ) significantly. This may pave the way for a construction boom along the coastline. The tourism sector is to benefit from the relaxation of the NDZ. Tourism activities could be undertaken in the designated areas to be identified by the State and included in their respective Coastal Zone Management Plan, according to the notification.

Most of the recommendations of an expert committee headed by Shailesh Nayak, which looked into the concerns of coastal States and various stakeholders, relating to the CRZ, 2011 notification were incorporated in the new notification, according CRZ experts.

The notification has classified the CRZ 3 areas (land areas that are relatively undisturbed and those which do not fall under CRZ 2) into CRZ 3A and 3B based on the density of population. Areas with a population density of 2,161 persons or more per sq km, as in the 2011 census, will be become CRZ 3A and construction activities could be undertaken towards the landward side from the 50-metre point of the High Tide Line (HTL).

All other CRZ-3 areas with population density of less than 2,161 persons per sq km will be designated as CRZ-3 B and development activities will be permitted beyond the 200-metre-mark from the HTL towards the landward side. The notification has covered all the backwater islands and islands along the mainland coast and a uniform NDZ of 20 metres from the HTL towards the landward side has been put in place.

All the coastal States with such islands will prepare Integrated Island Management Plans and get them approved by the Ministry. The 2019 notification will come into force in these islands only when the Plan is framed.

B. Madhusoodana Kurup, former Vice Chancellor of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kochi, said the new notification failed to acknowledge the issues of global warming and sea level rise.

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