The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018, in which it has delegated powers to give clearances to projects falling in CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the state level with necessary guidance.
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 better life and add value to the economy of India. The new notification is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities,” an official statement said. The CRZ notification was last reviewed and issued in 2011. The move comes in the backdrop of a series of representations received by the Environment Ministry from various coastal states/UTs and other stakeholders.
“Temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc. have now been permitted on 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 10m from HTL should be maintained for setting up of such facilities,” the statement said.
The notification also has streamlined the process of CRZ clearances and only projects located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 nautical miles seaward) will now be dealt by the Union Environment Ministry for clearance.
“The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the state level with necessary guidance,” the statement said.
Under the new notification, an NDZ of 20 metres has been stipulated for all Islands.
“For islands close to the main land coast and for all backwater islands in the main land, 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,” the statement said.
All ecologically sensitive areas have been accorded special importance and specific guidelines related to their conservation and management plans have been drawn up as a part of the notification.
“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.
“Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation,” it said.
According to the statement, 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 levels.
“In the CRZ, 2018 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. This will enable redevelopment of these areas to meet the emerging needs,” it said.
Under the new notification, densely populated rural areas have been given greater opportunity for development and for CRZ-III (rural) areas, two separate categories have now been stipulated.
“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 metres from the HTL as against 200 metres from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011 since such areas have similar characteristics as urban areas.
“CRZ-III B – 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 metres from the HTL,” the statement said.
The new notification is expected to go a long way in meeting the aspirations of coastal communities besides ensuring welfare of poor and vulnerable populations, it said.
“The changes brought about in the CRZ notification will further add to creating additional opportunities for affordable housing. This will benefit not only the housing sector but the people at large looking for shelter.
It said the the notification is so designed that it balances the needs in such a way that both are fulfilled. Tourism has been one of the greatest creators of livelihood and jobs.
“The new notification will boost tourism in terms of more activities, more infrastructure and more opportunities and will certainly go a long way in creating employment opportunities in various aspects of tourism. This will also give boost to people, desirous of seeing and enjoying the beauty of the mighty seas,” it said.