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States get greater say over coastal regions

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Cabinet approves easing of norms for development in CRZs

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday approved the CRZ Notification 2018, streamlining of Coastal Regulation Zone clearances, aimed at enhancing activities in the coastal regions and promoting economic growth while keeping in mind conservation principles of coastal regions.

The move comes in the backdrop of a series of representations received by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change from various coastal states and Union Territories, besides other stakeholders for a comprehensive review of the provisions of the CRZ Notification, 2011.

Few exemptions

According to the new notification only such projects, which are located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward) will require the necessary clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II (The areas that have been developed upto or close to the shoreline) and III (Areas that are relatively undisturbed) have been delegated at the State level.

The construction norms on Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), which was frozen as per 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels, has been relaxed and will now be based on laws which are in vogue.

The new notification also relaxed the No Development Zone (NDZ) criteria. Densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2,161 per square kilometre, falling under CRZ-III A, now have NDZ of 50 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) as against 200 meters stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.

Island curbs

For islands close to the mainland coast and for all Backwater Islands in the mainland, NDZ of 20 meters has been stipulated.

The notification also permits temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc. in beaches. Such temporary tourism facilities are also now permissible in NDZ of the CRZ-III areas.

The government said the new notification will “boost tourism in terms of more activities, more infrastructure and more opportunities and will certainly go a long way in creating employment opportunities in various aspects of tourism”.

Also, in order to address pollution in coastal areas, treatment facilities have been made permissible activities in CRZ—I B area subject to necessary safeguards. Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation, it said

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:34:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/states-get-greater-say-over-coastal-regions/article25853909.ece

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