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MoEF for strict regulatory mechanism on CRZ protection
April 23, 2010
PANJIM, APRIL 23
Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has proposed Goa-specific provisions in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Amendment Notification 2010, with stringent regulatory mechanism, in an effort to ensure sustainable development and ecological protection in Goa.
This is included in the discussion paper titled “Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2010” which along with the Pre-Draft is on the website of the ministry – www.moef.nic.in
Goa is taken as a special case along with Sunderbans, Navi Mumbai, Kerala and other ecosensitive areas.
The state of Goa is divided into three divisions, the coastal plain, mid upland region and Western Ghats. The upland region close to the Western Ghats
are currently occupied by the mining activities, whereas the entire Western Ghats region is identified as one of the Biodiversity hotspot areas and protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, it says. Therefore, separate Goa state specific provisions with stringent regulatory mechanism for sustainable development and ecological protection of coastal areas are to be formulated. The traditional occupation of the population living along the coast is mainly the fishing and allied activities. These fishing communities require basic infrastructure facilities for their livelihood, the paper says. It further says that keeping in view the importance of the coastal environment and the need to protect the coastal ecosystems from the pressures of developmental activities, the Ministry had issued the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
This notification, which is still in force, seeks to protect and regulate the use of the land within 500mts of the coast and 100mts along the tidal influenced water bodies. All developmental activities proposed to be located in this zone are regulated under the Notification.
CLASSIFICATION: It classifies the coastal stretch of the country into CRZ-I, CRZ-II, CRZ-III and CRZ-IV.
The CRZ Notification, 1991 has been amended almost 25 times since its promulgation. Further, several State Governments and other stakeholders have expressed difficulties in implementing the provisions of the CRZ Notification, 1991.
OLD PANEL: In order to examine the issues of implementation of the 1991 Notification, the Ministry constituted an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. M. S. Swaminathan in
2004. The Committee submitted its Report in February, 2005. The main recommendation of this Committee was to issue the draft Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) Notification, 2008 to replace the 1991 Notification.
However the draft CMZ Notification, 2008 attracted a large number of representations especially from the fisher folk and the local communities. In order to examine the issues raised in these representations, the Ministry constituted another four-member Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. MS Swaminathan in June of 2009.
NEW REPORT: The Report of the Committee titled “Final Frontier” [and available on the website www.moef.nic.in] was received in the Ministry on 16th July, 2009 and was accepted by the Government.
The major three recommendation of the Report was to let the draft CMZ Notification of 2008 lapse and instead strengthen the CRZ Notification of 1991.In keeping with the above, the MoEF has proposed to take steps for strengthening the CRZ
Notification, 1991 in light of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee report and the outcome of the consultation process carried out by CEE which includes amending/deleting/inserting certain provisions in the existing notification.
WHAT NEXT?: Comments on the above discussion paper and the pre-draft CRZ 2010 are invited by 30th May, 2010.
After the receipt of the comments on the above discussion paper and the pre draft CRZ 2010, the Ministry will finalize the draft CRZ Notification, 2010 and obtain legal vetting from Ministry of Law.
Thereafter the draft CRZ Notification, 2010 will be issued under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 inviting suggestions and objections from the people within sixty days from the date of issue of the draft notification.