Today's Paper

CRZ amendment raises hackles

The amendment to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2011 permitting the use of reclaimed land for construction of roads in notified areas has triggered a wave of concern among coastal communities, amid fears that it would trigger further dilution of CRZ norms.

Scientists feel that the amendment would spark a spree of construction activities along the coast, endangering the marine and coastal ecosystems.

They allege that the government move was dictated by powerful lobbies with an eye on ecologically sensitive coastal areas.

The amendment issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) through an extraordinary gazette notification on December 30, 2015 permits the use of reclaimed land for roads, mass rapid or multimodal transit systems, and the construction and installation of associated public utilities and infrastructure to operate such systems within the CRZ area.

It says such roads should not be taken as authorised for permitting development on the landward side till the existing High Tide Line.

The notification adds that construction of roads would be permitted only on the recommendation of the Coastal Zone Management Authority concerned and the clearance of MoEFCC. It also mandates compensatory afforestation to replace the mangroves cut or destroyed for road construction.

Expressing deep shock, the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) , a federation of State-level trade unions, said the amendment would permit roads to come up in the CRZ1 region comprising ecologically sensitive areas and classified as a ‘no development zone’.

“The government has shown disrespect to the spirit of the CRZ notification, 2011 which was the culmination of a long process of consultation,” chairperson, NFF, M. Ilango, and secretary T. Peter said in a press release.

Concern over dilution of CRZ norms

Call for legislation to replace notification

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