The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification of 1991 has been replaced recently in January 2011 by the latest CRZ notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
Both these new notifications reconcile three objectives – (i) protection of livelihoods of traditional fisherfolk communities; (ii) preservation of coastal ecology; and (iii) promotion of economic activity that have necessarily to be located in coastal regions.
Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2011
Apart from codifying the 25 amendments that were made to CRZ notification between 1991-2009, the CRZ notification (2011) has several new features –
- It has special provisions for Goa, Kerala, Greater Mumbai and critically vulnerable coastal areas (CVCAs) like Sunderban mangrove area, Chilka and Bhitarkanika (Orissa), Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutch (Gujarat), Malwan (Maharashtra), Karwar and Kundapur (Karnataka), Vembanad (Kerala), Coringa, East Godavari and Krishna Delta (Andhra Pradesh), Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu).
- Clear procedures for obtaining CRZ approval with time-lines have been stipulated along with post-clearance monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.
- Water area up to 12 nautical miles in the sea and the entire water area of a tidal water body such as creek, river, estuary etc., would now be included in the CRZ areas, without imposing any restrictions of fishing activities.
- The concept of a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), to be prepared with the fullest involvement and participation of local communities, has been introduced.
- The concept of a hazard line to be demarcated over the next five years has been introduced to protect life and property of local communities and infrastructure along coastal areas.
Some of the prohibited activities within the CRZ as per the present notification include -
- Setting up of new industries and expansion of existing industries except -
- Those directly related to waterfront or directly needing foreshore facilities;
- Projects of Department of Atomic Energy;
- Facilities for generating power by non-conventional energy sources and setting up of desalination plants in the areas not classified as CRZ-I(i) based on an impact assessment study including social impacts.;
- Development of green field airport already permitted at Navi Mumbai;
- Reconstruction, repair works of dwelling units of local communities including fishers in accordance with local town and country planning regulations.
- Setting up and expansion of fish processing units including warehousing except hatchery and natural fish drying in permitted areas:
- Land reclamation, bunding or disturbing the natural course of seawater.
- Setting up and expansion of units or mechanism for disposal of wastes and effluents
- Discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements. The concerned authorities shall implement schemes for phasing out existing discharge of this nature, if any, within a time period not exceeding two years from the date of issue of this notification.
- Dumping of city or town wastes including construction debris, industrial solid wastes, fly ash for the purpose of land filling. The concerned authority shall implement schemes for phasing out any existing practice, if any, shall be phased out within a period of one year from date of commencement of this notification.
The notification includes the following annexures –
- Guidelines for preparation of Coastal Zone Management Plans
- List of petroleum and chemical products permitted for storage in [CRZ except CRZ-I(A)]
- Guidelines for development of beach resorts or hotels in the designated areas of CRZ-III and CRZ-II for occupation of tourist or visitors with prior approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The salient points of the draft Coastal Regulation Zone notification circulated in 2010 as well its critique by the Kerala Swathantra Malsya Thozhilali Federation can be viewed at the India Water Portal here
Island Protection Zone Notification 2011
Island Coastal Regulation Zone (ICRZ) and Integrated Islands Management Plans (IIMPs) are being set up for the environmental management of the Islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. The coastal areas of Andaman and Nicobar islands shall be classified as -
- ICRZ-I: The areas that are ecologically sensitive and the geomorphological features which play a role in maintaining the integrity of the coast and the area between Low Tide Line and High Tide Line.
- ICRZ-II: The areas that have been developed up to or close to the shoreline.
- ICRZ-III: Areas that are relatively undisturbed and those that do not belong to ICRZ-I, which include coastal zone in the rural areas (developed and undeveloped) and also areas within municipal limits or in other legally designated urban areas, which are not substantially built up.
- The water area from the Low Tide Line to twelve nautical miles on the seaward side;
- Shall include the water area of the tidal influenced water body from the mouth of the water body at the sea up to the influence of tide which is measured as five parts per thousand during the driest season of the year.
Traditional Coastal and Marine Fisherfolk (Protection of Rights) Act 2009
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has released the draft of the Traditional Coastal and Marine Fisherfolk (Protection of Rights) Act 2009 for discussion in January 2011 before it is tabled in the Parliament. The act seeks to recognize the rights of the fishing community living along the coastline of the country.
The salient points of the draft act are –
- It recognizes the rights of the fishing community carrying out fishing activity through traditional means in the surrounding coastal areas and emphasizes the need to regulate this activity to ensure the sustainable exploitation of natural resources which will conserve biodiversity and ecological balance.
- The act covers not only the coastal areas but also estuaries, creeks, bays and others including those extracting shell fish.
- The act proposes to name the local panchayat as the authority to determine the nature and extent of the rights of the fishing community as a whole and also as individual fishermen.
- While it is proposed that the State government shall constitute a committee to examine the resolutions of the panchayat, state’s fisheries department will be the appellate authority in case of any dispute or grievance.