By Accommodation Times Bureau
The Union Cabinet today approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018 which was last reviewed and issued in 2011, with periodic amendments to some clauses.
The move comes in the backdrop of a series of representations received by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change from various Coastal States/UTs, besides other stakeholders, for a comprehensive review of the provisions of the CRZ Notification, 2011, particularly related to the management and conservation of marine and coastal eco-systems, development in coastal areas, eco-tourism, livelihood option and sustainable development of coastal communities etc.
(i) Allowing FSI as per current norms in CRZ areas: As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, 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, 2018 Notification, it has been decided to de-freeze the same and permits FSI for construction projects, as prevailing on the date of the new Notification. This will enable redevelopment of these areas to meet the emerging needs.
(ii) Densely populated rural areas to be afforded greater opportunity for development: For CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have now been stipulated as below:
(a) CRZ-III A – These are 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 (NDZ) of 50 meters from the HTL as against 200 meters from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011 since such areas have similar characteristics as urban areas.
(b) CRZ-III B – Rural areas with a 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.
(iii) Tourism infrastructure for basic amenities to be promoted: 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.
(iv) CRZ Clearances streamlined: The procedure for CRZ clearances has been streamlined. Only such projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward) shall be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the State level with necessary guidance.
(v) A No Development Zone (NDZ) of 20 meters has been stipulated for all Islands: For islands close to the mainland coast and for all Backwater Islands in the mainland, in wake of space limitations and unique geography of such regions, bringing uniformity in treatment of such regions, NDZ of 20 m has been stipulated.
(vi) All Ecologically Sensitive Areas have been accorded special importance: Specific guidelines related to their conservation and management plans have been drawn up as a part of the CRZ Notification.
(vii) Pollution abatement has been accorded special focus: In order to address pollution in Coastal areas treatment facilities have been made permissible activities in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.
(viii) Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation.
The proposed CRZ Notification, 2018 will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions. It will not only result in significant employment generation but also to a better life and add value to the economy of India. The new notification is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities.