The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on January 18, 2019 notified the 2019 Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, replacing the existing CRZ norms of 2011.
Objective of CRZ Regulations 2019
The new CRZ norms, issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, aim to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account the natural hazards such as increasing sea levels due to global warming.
The norms also seek to conserve and protect the environment of coastal stretches and marine areas, besides livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities in the coastal area.
Salient Features of CRZ Regulations 2019
Two separate categories for CRZ-III (Rural) areas
CRZ-III A: The A category of CRZ-III areas are densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) as against 200 meters from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.
CRZ-III B - The B category of CRZ-III rural areas have population density of below 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone of 200 meters from the HTL.
Floor Space Index Norms eased
As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, the Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) had been frozen. In the CRZ 2019 Notification, the government decided to de-freeze the Floor Space Index and permit FSI for construction projects.
Tourism infrastructure permitted in coastal areas
The new norms permit temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities, etc. in Beaches. Such temporary tourism facilities are a
Streamlining of CRZ Clearances
The procedure for CRZ clearances has been streamlined. Now, the only such projects which are located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward) will be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the Ministry. The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the State level.
No Development Zone of 20 meters for all Islands
For islands close to the main land coast and for all Backwater Islands in the main land, No Development Zone of 20 meters has been stipulated in wake of space limitations and unique geography of such regions.
To address pollution in Coastal areas, the treatment facilities have been made permissible in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.
Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas (CVCA)
Sundarban region of West Bengal and other ecologically sensitive areas identified as under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 such as Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutchh in Gujarat, Achra-Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, Bhaitarkanika in Odisha and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh are treated as Critical Vulnerable Coastal Areas.
These Critical Vulnerable Coastal Areas will be managed with the involvement of coastal communities including fisher folk.