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Concerns with CRZ- notification 2018

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January 17, 2019

What is the issue?

The Coastal Regulation Zone notification of 2018 increases the vulnerability of coastal people to climate disasters.

Click here to know more on the issue.

What are the recent changes in the CRZ notification?

  • The government has relaxed development controls along the coastline through the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018.
  • Relaxing FSI - 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.
  • No development zones - For CRZ-III areas, two separate categories have been proposed.
  • CRZ-III A contains densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. 
  • Such areas shall have a No Development Zone of 50 meters from the HTL as against 200 meters from the HTL stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.
  • CRZ-III B contains 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.
  • 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.   
  • Clearance - 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 Coastal Zone Management Authority.
  • Promoting Tourism - 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.
  • Regulated limestone mining is also proposed to be permitted in areas adequately above the height of HTL, based on recommendations of reputed National Institutes in the Mining field.

What are the concerns?

  • The government’s announcement of amendments to the Coastal Regulation Zone law spell the death of the coasts.
  • Norm relaxation - Relaxation in NDZ negate the coastal space entirely of its special socio-ecological uniqueness and open up this niche space to mindless real estate development, mass scale tourism, and industry.
  • It can also affect the livelihoods of people in the fisheries sector, which employs 4-9 million people and generate Rs. 48,000-Rs. 75,000 crores for the economy.
  • Waste generation - With rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, coasts have become convenient dumping grounds.
  • Sewage, garbage and sludge from industrial processes land up on the coastline and makes life for coastal dwellers a living hell.
  • The new amendments legalise the setting up of common effluent treatment plants (CETPs).
  • Yet, establishing CETPs is an impractical technology for cleaning up waste, especially on the most fragile parts of the coast.
  • These projects have also made the coastal people of Saurashtra and south Gujarat more vulnerable to toxicity in their food, water and air.
  • Disaster vulnerability - India’s coasts are already facing climate change events such as intensive, frequent and unpredictable cyclones and erosion.
  • The combined effects of harmful coastal development and climate change are apparent in the form of mass migrations from coastal areas like Odisha and the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
  • Hence, relaxing the floor space index could make the people living in coastal areas even more vulnerable to natural disasters.
  • Consultation - Also, this notification has been introduced after minimal consultations with other stakeholders.  
  • The National Fishworkers Forum (NFF), for instance, has vociferously opposed these amendments since the review was announced in June 2014 by the Shailesh Nayak Committee.
  • Instead of using the NFF’s knowledge to craft an effective policy, the government has peddled the same development model that has generated conflict and impoverishment.
  • Thus, the notification now exposes more people to the unassessed impacts of climate change-related coastal damages.

 

Source: The Hindu

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