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Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ)

Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ)

Why in news ?

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

Background :

About The draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2018

The new CRZ notification, issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 .Their salient features are

  • The new draft if implemented will not only have an effect on how common areas used by fisherfolk are managed .Even bifurcate coastal zones along rural areas based on population density
  • Moreover ,the draft opened up fragile inter-tidal areas to real estate agents, and framed with an intent to favour large-scale industry at the cost of fishing communities.
  • The new draft aims to “conserve and protect the unique environment of coastal stretches and marine areas. Besides livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities in the coastal areas and to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards, sea level rise due to global warming

New Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) Rules :

  1. Eco-tourism activities such as mangrove walks, tree huts and nature trails in identified stretches, subject to permissions.
  2. There are several sub-divisions within 4 regions, for example coastal regulation zone CRZ-I is split into CRZ-I A and CRZ-I B and CRZ-III into III A and III B.
  3. CRZ shall apply to the land area between high tide line to 50 mts on the landward side of creeks, estuaries, backwaters and rivers.
  4. 50 metre limit after approval of State.

 Important facts for prelims  :

  • National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) the final authority to lay down standards for High Tide Line (HTL)
    • Earlier the demarcation was carried out by one of the agencies authorised by MoEF, on recommendations of the NCSCM
  • Hazard line, which was demarcated by the Survey of India (SOI), has been delinked from the CRZ regulatory regime, and will now be used as a “tool” for disaster management and planning of “adaptive and mitigation measures
  • Bifurcation of CRZ-III areas
    • CRZ-III areas — land that is relatively undisturbed such as in rural areas, and do not fall in areas considered close to shoreline within existing municipal limits — have been divided into two categories:
    • CRZ-III A refers to rural areas with a population density of 2,161 people per square kilometre or more as per the 2011 Census. Such areas shall have a “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of 50m from the HTL, the draft notes.
    • CRZ-III B refers to rural areas with a population density lesser than 2,161 people per square kilometre. Such areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200m from the HTL.
  • Projects that require MoEF’s approval
  • Only those projects located in CRZ-I (environmentally most critical) and CRZ-IV (water and seabed areas) shall require MoEF clearance
  • All other projects shall be considered by Coastal Zone Management Authorities (CZMAs) in the states and union territories.
  • The draft also allows for construction of roads and roads on stilts, “by way of reclamation in CRZ-1 areas”, only in exceptional cases for “defence, strategic purposes and public utilities,” to be recommended by the CZMA and approved by the Ministry
  • where roads are constructed through mangroves or are likely to damage minimum three times the mangrove area affected/ destroyed/ cut during the construction… shall be taken up for compensatory plantation
  • Mining – Regulated limestone mining will be permitted.
  • This will be subject to strict Environmental safeguards, in areas adequately above the height of HTL.
  • This would be based on recommendations of reputed National Institutes in the Mining field.
  • Temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc. have been proposed in Beaches. Such temporary tourism facilities are also proposed to be permissible in the No Development Zone (NDZ) of the CRZ-III areas.
  • Wherever there is a National or State Level Highway passing through the NDZ in CRZ-III areas, temporary tourism facilities have been proposed to be taken up on the seaward site of the roads. On the landward side of such roads in the NDZ, Resorts/Hotels and other tourism facilities have also been proposed to be permitted subject to the extant regulations of the concerned State.

FSI Norms Eased

  • For CRZ-II (Urban) areas, Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) had been frozen as per 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels.
  • In the CRZ, 2019 Notification, it has been decided to de-freeze the same and permit FSI for construction projects, as prevailing on the date of the new Notification.

Tourism infrastructure permitted in coastal areas

  • Temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc. have now been permitted in Beaches.
  • Such temporary tourism facilities are also now permissible in the “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of the CRZ-III areas as per the Notification.
  • However, a minimum distance of 10 m from HTL should be maintained for setting up of such facilities.

No Development Zone (NDZ) of 20 meters for all Islands

  • For islands close to the main land coast and for all Backwater Islands in the main land NDZ of 20 m has been stipulated.
  • It has been done in the wake of space limitations and unique geography of such regions, bringing uniformity in treatment of such regions.

Pollution Abatement

  • In order to address pollution in Coastal areas , facilities are permissible  in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.
  • Moreover , The Notification exempts  defence and strategic projects in CRZ . 

Reference :

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