The state plans to write to the Centre, asking for a separate set of rules for Mumbai when it amends the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, which prohibits construction close to the coastline. The draft notification of the Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) lapsed on July 22.
Mumbai has nearly 38% of land in Mumbai covered under the CRZ. The state was worried that the CMZ would halt the real estate industry. So when the Centre invited suggestions/objections, the state put up a strong case against it.
The Development Plan and Developmental Control Regulations would have got frozen and halted development, slum rehabilitation and other construction activity. The CMZ would have also clashed with the powers and authority given to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. Besides, the development of Mumbai would have been totally controlled by the Centre.
Hence when the Centre allowed lapsing of the CMZ notification, 2008, the state claimed a lions share in the decision. The Centre had appointed a committee under the chaimanship of M S Swaminathan in June 2004 to study the problem of coastal areas. They submitted a report in 2005. Based on the recommendations, the ministry came out with a draft notification on May 1, 2008.
The ministry received a large number of suggestions and objections. Based on this, a committee was set up again under the chairmanship of M S Swaminathan. They submitted a report to the Union ministry of environment and forests on June 6, 2009. The findings were accepted and the government allowed the draft notification to lapse on July 22. The expert committee also suggested that the CRZ should be strengthened and implemented more rigorously. The Union government is also planning to have consultations with fisherfolk and other stakeholders while seeking comments for strengthening the CRZ.