The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change has cancelled the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the Rajakkamangalam Thurai private fishing harbour project, according to R.S. Lal Mohan, convener, Nagercoil chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
Dr. Lal Mohan told The Hindu here on Thursday that the CRZ clearance awarded to the private fishing harbour on July 18, 2011, had been cancelled based on a representation from INTACH.
In its order, the Ministry said that the private company had obtained CRZ clearance by submitting a “false statement” of District Forest Officer, Nagercoil, stating that there were no sand dunes in the Rajakkamangalam coast. Officials from the Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change inspected the site on January 17, 2015, and found the presence of sand dunes and hatchlings of sea turtles in the project area.
The Ministry said that during the inspection, “a number of sand dunes were noticed along the sea coast in the project site. In a major portion of sand dunes, causarina plantations had been raised but they were reportedly felled by the developers.’’
On receiving the inspection report, the Ministry opined that the recommendations of the State government authorities lacked correctness with respect to the presence of sand dunes at the project site.
The Union government, exercising the power conferred on the Ministry under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, cancelled the CRZ clearance. The Ministry also instructed the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority to initiate the process of revision of map of the CRZ in Rajakkamangalam in consultation with the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management and the Indian Remote Sensing Agency, Chennai, and submit its recommendations with three months, Dr. Lal Mohan said.
‘Recommendations of State authorities lacked correctness with respect to presence of sand dunes at the project site’