Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

[pib] “Blue Flag” Certification

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Blue Flag Certification

Mains level : Not Much

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has announced the first time eight beaches of India are recommended for the coveted International eco-label, the Blue flag certification.

Try this PYQ:

Q. At one of the places in India, if you stand on the seashore and watch the sea, you will find that the seawater recedes from the shoreline a few kilometers and comes back to the shore, twice a day, and you can actually walk on the seafloor when the water recedes. This unique phenomenon is seen at:

(a) Bhavnagar

(b) Bheemunipatnam

(c) Chandipur

(d) Nagapattinam

Which are the eight beaches?

The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman & Diu, Kasargod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden beach of Odisha and Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.

About Blue Flag Certification

  • This Certification is accorded by an international agency “Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads i.e.
  1. Environmental Education and Information,
  2. Bathing Water Quality,
  3. Environment Management and Conservation and
  4. Safety and Services on the beaches.
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001 when South Africa joined.
  • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Centre eases CRZ rules for ‘Blue Flag’ beaches

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CRZ norms, Blue flag certification

Mains level : Blue Flag Certification

The MoEFCC has relaxed Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules that restrict construction near beaches to help States construct infrastructure and enable them to receive ‘Blue Flag’ certification.

Why such move?

  • The Blue Flag certification, however, requires beaches to create certain infrastructure — portable toilet blocks, grey water treatment plants, a solar power plant, seating facilities, CCTV surveillance and the like.
  • However, India’s CRZ laws don’t allow the construction of such infrastructure on beaches and islands.
  • The new order allows for some constructions subject to maintaining a minimum distance of 10 meters from HTL (High Tide Line).

Blue Flag certification

  • The ‘Blue Flag’ beach is an ‘eco-tourism model’ and marks out beaches as providing tourists and beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, a safe and healthy environment, and sustainable development of the area.
  • The certification is accorded by the Denmark-based Foundation for Environment Education.
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.
  • It has 33 stringent criteria under four major heads for the beaches, that is, (i) Environmental Education and Information (ii) Bathing Water Quality (iii) Environment Management and Conservation and (iv) Safety and Services.

Blue Flag beaches

  • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in south and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395 Blue Flag beaches, respectively.

In India

  • Last year, the Ministry selected 13 beaches in India to vie for the certificate.
  • The earmarked beaches are — Ghoghala beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave beach (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasarkod beaches (Karnataka), Kappad beach (Kerala), Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu), Eden beach (Puducherry), Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh), Miramar beach (Goa), Golden beach (Odisha), Radhanagar beach (Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and Bangaram beach (Lakshadweep).

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Rules

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CRZ norms

Mains level : Coastal conservation in India

Few illegal apartment complexes in Maradu, Kerala, were razed as ordered by the Supreme Court for breaching Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. The court had called the illegal constructions a “colossal loss” to the environment.

What are CRZ norms?

  • In India, the CRZ Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea.
  • They restrict certain kinds of activities — like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, reclamation and bunding — within a certain distance from the coastline.
  • After the passing of the Environment Protection Act in 1986, CRZ Rules were first framed in 1991.
  • After these were found to be restrictive, the Centre notified new Rules in 2011, which also included exemptions for the construction of the Navi Mumbai airport and for projects of the Department of Atomic Energy.
  • In 2018, fresh Rules were issued, which aimed to remove certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.
  • While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union environment ministry, implementation is to be ensured by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.

Where do they apply?

  • In all Rules, the regulation zone has been defined as the area up to 500 m from the high-tide line.
  • The restrictions depend on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.
  • The latest Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.

Back2Basics

Coastal Regulation Zone: How rules for building along coast have evolved

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Mumbai’s Coastal Road Project

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Mumbai’s Coastal Road Project, EIA

Mains level : Urbanization at the cost of environment

The Supreme Court stayed a Bombay High Court order that had quashed Coastal Regulation Zone clearance granted to the southern part of Mumbai’s coastal road project.

Mumbai’s Coastal Road project

  • The Coastal Road is an under-construction 8-lane, 29.2-km long freeway that would run along Mumbai’s western coastline connecting Marine Lines in the south to Kandivali in the north.
  • The Coastal Road is projected to be used by 130,000 vehicles daily and is expected to reduce travel time between South Mumbai and the Western Suburbs from 2 hours to 40 minutes.
  • The estimated cost of the project is ₹12,000 crore (US$1.7 billion).

What is the dispute?

  • Environmentalists, activists and fishermen opposed the project.
  • Their main contention was that the BMC is implementing the project with faulty and ‘illegal’ green clearances accorded in May 2017 by the MoEFCC.
  • They have claimed the project lacks a mandatory prior environmental clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006.
  • Activists had demanded that a biodiversity study of the Mumbai coast is also required before going ahead.
  • They also called a National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) report flawed as it relied on only 14 days’ pre-monsoon data. An EIA study requires impact in all four seasons to be studied, they contended.
  • Fishermen also claimed that the reclamation will destroy shallow water fishing and increase the turbidity of water, and that the narrow gaps between pillars will hinder movement of fishing boats.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Centre unveils plan for coastal zone management

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Coastal Regulation Zones

Mains level : Coastal management and development

NEWS

The Environment Ministry has unveiled a draft plan that will dictate how prospective infrastructure projects situated along the coast ought to be assessed before they can apply for clearance.

Plan

  1. The draft Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) is part of a World Bank-funded project.
  2. It lays out guidelines for coastal States to adopt when they approve and regulate projects in coastal zones.
  3. It seeks to assist the Government of India in enhancing coastal resource efficiency and resilience by building capacity for adopting and implementing integrated coastal management approaches
  4. The document was prepared by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management, a Ministry-affiliated body.
  5. As per the report, Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) has to be a continuous process rather than a “one-off” investment action.
  6. The key activities proposed for coastal zone development include: 
    1. mangrove afforestation/shelter beds
    2.  habitat conservation activities such as restoration of sea-grass meadows
    3. eco-restoration of sacred groves
    4. development of hatcheries
    5. rearing/rescue centres for turtles and other marine animals
    6. creation of infrastructure for tourism
    7. restoration and recharge of water bodies
    8. beach cleaning and development
    9. small infrastructure facilities
  7. Livelihood improvement projects include
    1. demonstration of climate-resilient or salinity resistant agriculture
    2. water harvesting and recharge/storage
    3. creation of infrastructure and facilities to support eco-tourism
    4. community-based small-scale mariculture
    5. seaweed cultivation
    6. aquaponics
  8. Environmental and social aspects ought to be integrated into the planning, design, implementation of projects.
  9. Projects should avoid or minimise impacts on cultural properties and natural habitats, compensate any loss of livelihood or assets, adopt higher work safety standards, occupational and community health and safety

Action so far

  1. So far three coastal States, Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal, have prepared Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans with support from the World Bank.
  2. Such plans would be prepared for the selected coastal stretches in other States/UT.
  3. Inadequate planning has often obstructed coastal zone development projects

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Coastal Regulation Zone: How rules for building along coast have evolved

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CRZ

Mains level : CRZ Regulations

Background

  • The Supreme Court has recently ordered the demolition of some constructions in Kerala’s Ernakulum, for violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
  • While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union Environment Ministry, implementation is supposed to be done by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.
  • The states are also supposed to frame their own coastal zone management plans in accordance with the central Rules.

The CRZ Rules

  • CRZ Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea.
  • The Rules, mandated under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, were first framed in 1991.
  • They sought to restrict certain kinds of activities, like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, or reclamation and bunding, within a certain distance from the coastline.
  • In all CRZ Rules, the regulation zone has been defined as the area up to 500 m from the high-tide line.
  • Several kinds of restrictions apply, depending on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.

Why such rules?

The basic idea is: because areas immediately next to the sea are extremely delicate, home to many marine and aquatic life forms, both animals and plants, and are also threatened by climate change, they need to be protected against unregulated development.

Evolution of Rules

  • The Centre notified fresh CRZ Rules in 2011, which addressed some concerns. An exemption was made for the construction of the Navi Mumbai airport.
  • Projects of the Department of Atomic Energy, which plans to set up nuclear power plants near the coast, were exempted.
  • After even these Rules were found inadequate, however, the MoEFCC in 2014 set up a six-member committee under then Earth Sciences Secretary Shailesh Nayak to give suggestions for a new set of CRZ Rules.
  • Simultaneously, the Chennai-based National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management defined a new high-tide line along India’s entire coastline to remove ambiguities.
  • Separately, the Survey of India defined a hazard line along the coasts — to be used mainly for disaster management planning.
  • Based on these and other inputs, the MoEFCC issued fresh CRZ Rules in December 2018, which removed certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.

New Rules under CRZ regulations

  • The government notified new CRZ Rules with the stated objectives of promoting sustainable development and conserving coastal environments.
  • For the so-called CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have been stipulated.
  • In the densely populated rural areas (CRZ-IIIA) with a population density of 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 Census, the no-development zone is now 50 m from the high-tide level, as against the 200 m stipulated earlier.
  • In the CRZ-IIIB category (rural areas with population density below 2,161 per sq km) continue to have a no-development zone extending up to 200 m from the high-tide line.
  • The new Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.

Problems with some states

  • Despite several amendments, states found the 1991 Rules to be extremely restrictive.
  • They complained that if applied strictly, the Rules would not allow simple things like building decent homes for people living close to the coast, and carrying out basic developmental works.
  • The 1991 Rules also created hurdles for showpiece industrial and infrastructure projects such as the POSCO steel plant in Odisha and the proposed Navi Mumbai airport in the first decade of the new century.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Island Protection Zone (IPZ), 2019

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: IPZ notification

Mains level: Features of the IPZ


News

  • The MoEFCC has notified Island Protection Zone (IPZ) 2019 for Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

 IPZ Notification, 2019

  • The notification relaxes development norms in the islands compared to the IPZ notification of 2011, which stipulated a no-development zone (NDZ) of 200 metres from the HTL for all islands.
  • This brings the norms for Andaman and Nicobar at par with coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms for other islands close to the mainland and backwater islands where an NDZ only 20 metres from HTL has been stipulated.
  • The cabinet had approved the CRZ notification in 2018 which relaxed a number of provisions in the CRZ 2011 to facilitate infrastructure development and construction on the coast.
  • It included easing floor area ratio (FAR) in coastal urban areas and slashing the NDZ in densely populated coastal rural areas to 50 metres from HTL as compared to 200 metres earlier.
  • The legal changes in the IPZ are aligned with the Niti Ayog’s proposal for holistic development in the Islands which is being taken forward under the guidance of the Island Development Agency.

Features of the IPZ, 2019

  • It allows for eco-tourism activities like mangrove walks, tree huts and nature trails in island coastal regulation zone IA (classified as the most eco-sensitive region of the islands which includes turtle nesting grounds, marshes, coral reefs etc).
  • The notification also allows for construction of roads, roads on stilts by reclaiming land in exceptional cases for defence installations, public utilities or strategic purposes in eco-sensitive zones.
  • It states that in case construction of such roads pass through mangroves, a minimum three times the mangrove area destroyed during the construction process shall be taken up for compensatory plantation of mangroves elsewhere.
  • These were not allowed under the IPZ 2011 notification which only permitted pipelines, transmission lines, trans-harbor links to be laid in the eco-sensitive zone.
  • The new notification also allows a number of new activities in the inter-tidal zone between low tide line and HTL.
  • This includes land reclamation and bunding for foreshore facilities like ports, harbours, jetties, wharves, quays, sea links etc, transfer of hazardous substances from ships to ports, manual mining of atomic minerals, and mining of sand with permission from local authorities in non-eco-sensitive sites.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

MoEFCC notifies new CRZ norms

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: New CRZ norms

Mains level: India’s efforts for marine environment conservation and various initiatives related to it


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

  • In June 2014, the MoEFCC constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Shailesh Nayak to examine the various issues and concerns recommending appropriate changes in the CRZ Notification, 2011.
  • The Shailesh Nayak Committee held wide ranging consultations with State Governments and other stakeholders and submitted its recommendations in 2015.

New Rules

  • The new CRZ notification, issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 seeks to “to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards, sea level rise due to global warming.
  • It 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 area.

Salient Features

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.

CRZ Clearances streamlined

  • Only such projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV shall be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the MoEFCC.
  • The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the State level with necessary guidance.

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 treatment facilities have been made permissible activities in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.
  • The Notification contains provisions for defence and strategic projects.

Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas (CVCA)

  • Sundarban region of West Bengal and other ecologically sensitive areas identified are as under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 such as Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutchh in Gujarat, Malvan, Achra-Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, Bhaitarkanika in Odisha, Coringa, East Godavari and Krishna in AP.
  • They are treated as Critical Vulnerable Coastal Areas (CVCA) and managed with the involvement of coastal communities including fisher folk who depend on coastal resources for their sustainable livelihood.

Way Forward

  • The changes brought about in the CRZ Notification will help creating additional opportunities for affordable housing and sustainable development activities.
  • It is stated that the new notification will boost tourism, creating employment opportunities.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Govt’s reason for CRZ amendments

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: India’s efforts for marine environment conservation and various initiatives related to it


News

  • The Union Cabinet has cleared the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2018.
  • The last time such a notification came was in 2011, though amended several times.
  • The draft notification was widely debated for its adverse impacts on local ecology.

What’s all included in the notification?

  1. The Cabinet decision has de-freezed parameters under the CRZ 2011 notification for CRZ-II (Urban) areas, Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR).
  2. These were based on the 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels.
  3. In densely populated rural areas near the coast with population density of 2,161 per square km (based on Census 2011), development works are now allowed beyond 50 metres from the high tide line (HTL).
  4. Under the 2011 CRZ notification this was 200 metres.
  5. However, areas with density below 2,161 per square km will have the ‘No Development Zone’ (NDZ) restriction of 200 metres from HTL.

Propositions for enhancing Tourism

  1. In another concession, temporary tourism infrastructure for “basic amenities” like shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc, will be allowed now in the NDZ of CRZ-III areas but at a distance of 10 metres from HTL.
  2. For islands near the coast and backwater islands, the new notification has fixed NDZ of 20 metres from the coastline.
  3. Government has also decentralized the CRZ clearance procedure, the state government now has the power to clear projects.
  4. Only in the case of ecologically sensitive areas (known as CRZ-I) and those covered in low tide line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward, the  MoEFCC will give clearance.

Benefits of proposed amendments

  1. The new notification has done away with or diluted many stringent restrictions in place at coastal areas.
  2. The notification will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions.
  3. It will not only result in significant employment generation but also to a better life and add value to the economy of India.

Way Forward 

  1. Tourism has been one of the greatest creators of livelihood and jobs.
  2. The notification is so designed that it balances the needs in such a way that both are fulfilled.
  3. This will also give boost to people desirous of seeing and enjoying the beauty of the mighty seas.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

India, Vietnam hold joint drill in Bay of Bengal

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Exercise Sahyog

Mains level: India-Vietnam Relations


News

Ex. Sahyog HOP TAC-2018

  1. The Indian Coast Guard conducted its maiden joint exercise with the Vietnam Coast Guard in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chennai.
  2. The exercise was aimed at enabling the Coast Guard units of the two countries to acquaint themselves with each other’s capabilities, strengthening the working-level relationship to rescue lives at sea and refining joint operation procedures.
  3. Three Indian Coast Guard ships ICG Shaurya, Arnvesh and C-431 — and two helicopters, ICG Dornier and Chetak, took part in the search and rescue (SAR) exercise.
  4. Vietnam Coast Guard vessel, CSB 8001, arrived to take part in the joint exercise and to enhance interoperability.
  5. The joint exercise simulated a scenario involving rescue of crew from a hijacked oil tanker, interdiction of a pirated vessel, joint boarding operation and external fire-fighting to salvage burning ships.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Odisha beach is Asia’s first to get ‘Blue Flag’ tag

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Blue Flag certification, Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

Mains level: India’s efforts for marine environment conservation and various initiatives related to it


Blue Flag certification

  1. The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification
  2. It will be awarded the honour on World Environment Day on June 5
  3. The Environment Ministry embarked on the Blue Flag project in December 2017

More beaches on the way

  1. Twelve more beaches in the country are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) in accordance with the Blue Flag standards
  2. SICOM is an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas

Blue flag standards

  1. To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system
  2. Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities
  3. The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area
  4. The standards were established by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

[pib] New draft Coastal Regulation Zone Notification

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018, National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM)

Mains level: CRZ and its implementation


News:

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has framed a new draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018
  • This draft has been formed by considering the recommendations of Dr. Shailesh Nayak committee constituted by The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

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 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 mainland coast and for all Backwater Islands in the mainland.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Local town planning be preferred over CRZ restrictions

  1. Context: The Shailesh Nayak review committee on Issues relating to the Coastal Regulation Zone relaxes curbs on coastal zone constructions
  2. Recommendations: Give greater powers and responsibilities to coastal states to regulate development, maintain and conserve ecologically fragile zones
  3. To ensure that environment be protected without neglecting ‘basic requirements of growing population’
  4. It recommends that local town planning regulations be preferred over CRZ restrictions
  1. Context: The Shailesh Nayak review committee on Issues relating to the Coastal Regulation Zone relaxes curbs on coastal zone constructions
  2. Recommendations: Give greater powers and responsibilities to coastal states to regulate development, maintain and conserve ecologically fragile zones
  3. To ensure that environment be protected without neglecting ‘basic requirements of growing population’
  4. It recommends that local town planning regulations be preferred over CRZ restrictions

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Concerns by activists on coastal mismanagement

  1. The 2011 Coastal Regulation Zone notification: It gives powers to States to check commercial development along coasts
  2. Concerns: Making the report accessible is in the public interest because there were amendments to the CRZ law since January 2015
  3. These have possibly facilitated heavy constructions and coastal roads etc.
  4. Unless the report was made public it couldn’t be ruled out that the Nayak committee report had eased rules facilitating construction
  1. The 2011 Coastal Regulation Zone notification: It gives powers to States to check commercial development along coasts
  2. Concerns: Making the report accessible is in the public interest because there were amendments to the CRZ law since January 2015
  3. These have possibly facilitated heavy constructions and coastal roads etc.
  4. Unless the report was made public it couldn’t be ruled out that the Nayak committee report had eased rules facilitating construction

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Publish report on coastal management, orders CIC

  1. Context: The CIC has ordered the Environment Ministry to make public, within a month, a report that looked into issues raised by States on the management of coasts
  2. Background: A committee headed by Shailesh Nayak was convened in 2014 to examine problems faced by States in complying with regulations
  3. RTI: Few activists had sought a copy of the report through the Right to Information Act
  4. The Ministry reportedly denied the report as it was still being reviewed and couldn’t be provided

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Mithivirdi nuclear plant gets coastal regulatory zone nod

  1. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had been facing severe opposition from local farmers and social activists for this project.
  2. Proximity to coastal waters was needed for constructing an intake channel of sea water for cooling purpose at the nuclear plant.
  3. NPCIL asked to examine possibilities of deploying ultrasonic devices to divert the aquatic life from entering into the sea water intake.
  4. National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will help in that.
  1. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had been facing severe opposition from local farmers and social activists for this project.
  2. Proximity to coastal waters was needed for constructing an intake channel of sea water for cooling purpose at the nuclear plant.
  3. NPCIL asked to examine possibilities of deploying ultrasonic devices to divert the aquatic life from entering into the sea water intake.
  4. National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will help in that.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Shailesh Nayak Committee has recently relaxed norms under coastal regulation zones. It has proposed for allowing housing infrastructure and slum redevelopment activities, tourism, ports and harbor and fisheries-related activities in coastal regulation zone.

source

CRZs have been in news at times. Objections have been raised various times to broad the scope of activities that are permitted at these places.

India has a long coastal line which makes these areas important for the country. Let’s understand this thing in a better way:

  • What are CRZs?
  • Classification of CRZ in India
  • What are the activities permitted and prohibited in these areas?
  • Why are CRZs important for India?
  • Objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011
  • Achievements of CRZ rules, 2011
  • Drawbacks of CRZ rules, 2011
  • Shailesh Nayak committee on review of coastal regulation zone notification
  • Analysis of new recommendations

What are CRZs?

  • Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZ) are classified as the region between the outer limits of territorial waters (12 nautical miles) and a specified inward distance (inland) from the high tide line along coasts.
  • These zones are recognised as fragile ecosystems and as such are accorded protection against unregulated human activities such as construction, sand mining etc.
  • As per the notification, the coastal land up to 500m from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations, is called the Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ).

Classification of CRZ in India

For regulation of developmental activities, the coastal stretches within 500m of HTL on the landward side are classified into four categories, viz.

  • Category I (CRZ-I)
  • Category II (CRZ – II)
  • Category III (CRZ-III)
  • Category IV (CRZ-IV)

Category I (CRZ -I):

a) Areas that are ecologically sensitive and important, such as national parks/marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wild habitats, mangroves, corals/coral reefs, areas likely to be inundated due to rise in sea level consequent upon global warming and such areas as may be declared by the authorities.

b) Areas between the Low Tide Line and High Tide Line

Category II (CRZ -II):

The area that have already been developed up to or the shoreline.

Category III (CRZ -III):

Areas that are relatively undisturbed and those which do not belong to either Category I or II. These include coastal zone in the areas (developed and undeveloped) and also areas within Municipal limits or in other legally designated urban areas which are not substantially built up.

Category IV (CRZ-IV):

Coastal stretches in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and small islands, except those designated as CRZ I, CRZ II and CRZ III.

What are the activities permitted and prohibited in these areas?

CRZ I: Regulations

No new constructions shall be permitted within 500m of the HTL.
CRZ II: Regulations

  • Buildings shall be permitted neither on the seaward side of the existing road or on the seaward side of the existing and proposed road
  • Reconstruction of the authorized building to be permitted subject to the existing FSI/FAR norms and without change in the existing use
  • The design and construction of buildings shall be consistent with the surrounding landscape and architectural style 

CRZ III: Regulations

  • The area up to 200m from the HTL is be earmarked as ‘No Development Zone’.
  • No construction shall be permitted in this zone except for repairs of existing authorized structures not exceeding existing FSI, existing plinth area and existing density.
  • However, the following uses may be permissible in this zone-agriculture, horticulture, gardens, pastures, parks, play fields, forestry and salt manufacture from sea water.

Why are CRZs important for India?

  • India has a long coastline of 7516 km, ranging from Gujarat to West Bengal, and two island archipelagos (Andaman Island and Lakshadweep).
  • Our coastal ecosystems provide protection from natural disasters such as floods and tsunamis.
  • Coastal waters provide a source of primary livelihood to 7 million households.
  • Our marine ecosystems are a treasure trove of biodiversity, which we are only beginning to discover and catalogue.
  • Thus, our coastline is both a precious natural resource and an important economic asset, and we need a robust progressive framework to regulate our coast.

Objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011

The main objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011 were:

  • To ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in the coastal areas;
  • To conserve and protect coastal stretches and;
  • To promote development in a sustainable manner based on scientific principles, taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas and sea level rise due to global warming.

Achievements of CRZ rules, 2011

  • It widens the definition of CRZ to include the land area from HTL to 500 m on the landward side, as well as the land area between HTL to 100 m or width of the creek, whichever is less, on the landward side along tidal influenced water bodies connected to the sea.
  • The concept of a ‘hazard line’ has been introduced.
  • Clearances for obtaining CRZ approval have been made time-bound. Further, for the first time, post-clearance monitoring of projects has been introduced
  • Introduction of the Coastal Zone Management Plans, which will regulate coastal development activity and which are to be formulated by the State Governments or the administration of Union Territories.
  • The 2011 Notification also lists out certain measures that have to be taken to prevent pollution in the coastal areas/coastal waters.

Drawbacks of CRZ rules, 2011

  • Although the no-development zone of 200 metres from the HTL is reduced to 100 metres, the pro­vision has been made applicable to “traditional coastal communities, including fisher-folk”, thereby giving the chance for increased construction on the coast and higher pressure on coastal resources
  • Disallowing Special Economic Zone(“SEZ”) projects in the CRZ
  • There are no restrictions for expansion of housing for rural communities in CRZ III

Shailesh Nayak committee on review of coastal regulation zone notification

The main recommendations of this new committee are:

  • Need to demarcate precisely: There exists ambiguities in key baseline data, including the demarcation of high and low tide lines and the coastal zone boundary, which has affected the preparation of Coastal Zone Management Plans.
  • Shift in Governance: Transferring control of development in the CRZ-II zone, the existing built-up area close to the shoreline, from the Environment Department to State Town Planning authorities, as proposed, would mark a radical shift in governance.
  • Construction Activities: Proposed lightly regulated tourism in “no development zones”. Construction and other activities could be taken up in CRZ-III zones just 50 m from the high tide line in densely populated rural areas under State norms (with the responsibility to rescue and rehabilitate during natural calamities left to local authorities) could be based on an over-estimation of the capacity in such bodies.
  • Pollution Control: The plan should be to identify specific areas for such activity, assess its environmental impact, demarcate the area under the State’s management plans, and fix responsibility for enforcement, particularly for pollution control.
  • Make it participatory: Involving the local communities in the betterment of these areas has yet not been achieved and incorporating a community-based approach should be made a priority.

Analysis of new recommendations

The recommendation by committee has tried to establish a balance between development and coastal conservation. However there are certain areas of concern-

  • The demarcation of high tide and low tide lines and coastal zone boundary affected the coastal zone management plans which are crucial for CRZ.
  • The transfer of developmental control of CRZ 2 from environmental department to town planning committee encourages local participation but it may disturb the whole system of governance.
  • Construction and other activities in CRZ 3 which is in the densely populated zone will hazards human settlement.
  • The proposed lightly tourism activity in the “No development zone” would suffocate further biodiversity conservation.

Way ahead

The new recommendations have tried to address issues such as time-bound clearances, enforcement measures, special provisions for specific coastal stretches etc. There is a significant change in the new notification but there is always need for further improvement.

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

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