New notification for Coastal Regulation Zone
31st Jan, 2019
Recently, the Central Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) notified new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms to replace the existing CRZ Notification of 2011.
- With the objective of conservation and protection of the coastal environment, MoEFCC notified the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification in 1991, which was subsequently revised in 2011.
- MoEFCC constituted a Committee in June 2014 under the Chairmanship of Shailesh Nayak (Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences) to examine the various issues and concerns of Coastal States/UTs and other stakeholders for recommending appropriate changes in the CRZ Notification, 2011. The Committee submitted its recommendations in 2015.
- The Union Cabinet approved the current Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, in November 2018 revising one issued in 2011.
Main aspects of Notified Rules
(I) No Development Zone (NDZ) reduced
- For CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have now been stipulated as below
- 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 NDZ of 50 meters from the HTL as against 200 meters from the HTL stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.
- 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 meters from the HTL.
(II) Floor Space Index (FSI) norms eased
- As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, for CRZ-II (Urban) areas, FSI or the Floor Area Ratio had been frozen as per 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels.
- In the CRZ, 2019 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.
(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 on beaches.
- Such temporary tourism facilities are also now permissible in the NDZ of the CRZ-III areas.
- However, a minimum distance of 10 m from HTL should be maintained for setting up of such facilities.
(IV) CRZ Clearances 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) NDZ of 20 meters 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.
(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 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 coastal zone is a transition area between marine and territorial zones. It includes shore ecosystems, wetland ecosystems, mangrove ecosystems, mudflat ecosystems, sea grass ecosystems, salt marsh ecosystems and seaweed ecosystems.
- CRZ consists of coastal land up to 500 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100 metres along the banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers where tidal fluctuations occur.
- In the 1991 notification,CRZ area was classified as CRZ-I (ecologically sensitive areas), CRZ-II (built-up areas), CRZ-III (rural areas) and CRZ-IV (water areas). The only change made was the inclusion of CRZ-IV, which includes water areas up to the territorial waters and the tidal influenced water bodies.