Environment Ministry frames new draft Coastal Regulation Zone Notification
What is the issue ?
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has framed a new draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018. .
The salient features of the draft CRZ Notification, 2018 and changes with respect to CRZ Notification, 2011, are as under :
- The High Tide Line (HTL) has been demarcated by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) and shall be reckoned as a universal standard for the HTL for all regulatory purposes under the CRZ Notification, 2018.
- Hazard line mapping has also been carried out by Survey of India. The Hazard Line has, however, been delinked from the CRZ regulatory regime and shall be used only as a tool for Disaster Management and planning of adaptive and mitigation measures.
- CRZ limits on land along the tidal influenced water bodies has been proposed to be reduced from 100 meters or the width of the creek, whichever is less, to 50 meters or the width of the creek, whichever is less.
- A No Development Zone (NDZ) of 20 meters has been proposed to be stipulated for all Islands close to the main land coast and for all Backwater Islands in the main land.
For CRZ-III areas, two separate categories have been proposed viz.:
- CRZ-III A – Densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall have an NDZ of 50 meters from the HTL as against 200 meters from the HTL stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.
- CRZ-III B – Rural areas with population density of below 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200 meters from the HTL.
Noteworthy changes :
- The procedure for CRZ clearances has been simplified and delegations have been made at various levels for recommending/according CRZ clearances to the projects/activities.
- Only such projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I & IV areas, shall be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the MoEF&CC. For all other project activities located in CRZ-II/III areas, CRZ clearance shall be considered at the level of the CZMA.
- As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, for CRZ-II areas, Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) had been frozen at 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels. In the Draft CRZ, 2018 Notification, it has been proposed to de-freeze the same and permit FSI for construction projects, as prevailing on the date of the new Notification.
- 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.
- Regulated limestone mining is proposed to be permitted, subject to strict Environmental safeguards, in areas adequately above the height of HTL, based on recommendations of reputed National Institutes in the Mining field.
Whats next ?
- The relaxations/amendment proposed in the CRZ Notification, 2018 shall, however, come into force only after the respective Coastal Zone Management Programme (CZMP) framed to the CRZ Notification, 2011 have been revised/updated by the States/UTs, as per the provisions of the CRZ, 2018 Notification and approved by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Background to the issue :
- The Ministry had constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Shailesh Nayak to examine the various issues and concerns of Coastal States/UTs and various other stakeholders and to recommend appropriate changes in the CRZ Notification, 2011