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Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms:


Context:

The six-member panel constituted by the National Green Tribunal recently conducted a field-level investigation into the alleged violations of Coastal Regulatory Zone norms along the coastal belt between Karavaka and Antarvedi Pallipalem in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district.

  • The panel sought the necessary data pertaining to the nature of permissions granted for aquaculture and extraction of beach sand.

What are CRZ norms?

Under the section 3 of Environment Protection Act, 1986 of India, Coastal Regulation Zone notification was issued in February 1991 for the first time.

  • In 2018-19, fresh Rules were issued, which aimed to remove certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.

Objectives:

  • They restrict certain kinds of activities — like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, reclamation and bunding — within a certain distance from the coastline.

What are the restrictions?

  • The restrictions depend on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.
  • The latest Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.

For the so-called CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have been stipulated.

  1. In the densely populated rural areas (CRZ-IIIA) with a population density of 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 Census, the no-development zone is 50 m from the high-tide level, as against the 200 m stipulated earlier.
  2. CRZ-IIIB category (rural areas with population density below 2,161 per sq km) areas continue to have a no-development zone extending up to 200 m from the high-tide line.

Implementation:

While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union environment ministry, implementation is to be ensured by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are CRZ Norms?
  2. Definition of CRZ.
  3. Classification of Zones.
  4. Categories under CRZ-III (Rural) areas.

Mains Link:

What do the draft  CRZ rules imply from the perspective of environmental justice and distributive justice.Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.