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Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)

There are various Rules and Regulations to control the construction activities, especially in the coastal areas, from the point of security, environmental protection and sustainability etc, such regulations are to be scrupulously adhered to. Before undertaking construction of any type of residential/commercial buildings, roads or bridges, sanction of the approving authority should have necessarily been obtained. It is all the more important and essential with regard to constructions near the coastal area. The Government of India has defined and delineated its Coastal Regulation Zone. Every part of the coastal area of India is a strategic point.

 

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2011

The CRZ Notification, 2011 replaces the CRZ Notification, 1991. This notification reconcile three objectives: protection of livelihoods of traditional fisherfolk communities; preservation of coastal ecology; and promotion of economic activity that have necessarily to be located in coastal regions.


The CRZ Notification, 2011 demonstrates that the MoE&F is conscious of and alive to the need to bring about notifications in laws and regulations to ensure a demonstrably better balance between the equally urgent imperatives of faster economic growth and deeper environmental conservation. Download the report here: Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2011 - Lakshadweep, India


Delineation and definition of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) in India.


The CRZ area in India is defined as coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters which are influenced by tidal action (in the landward side). As per the Central Government Notification dated 19th February 1991 u/s 3(1) and section 3(2) (v) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and rule 5(3) (d) of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986, 500m on the landward side from the High Tide Line (HTL) and the land area between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and HTL including 500m along the tidal influenced water bodies subject to a minimum of 100m on the width of the water body, whichever is less is declared as CRZ area.


Norms for development or construction activities:

 

If the concerned plot where constructions are proposed to be carried out is within 500 metres and is classified as CRZ III, then the development or construction activities are regulated in accordance with the following norms:-

 

1.    The area up to 200 metres from the high tide line is earmarked as "No Development Zone".  No construction is permitted within this zone except for repairs of existing authorized structures not exceeding existing FSI, existing plinth area and existing density. However, certain uses such as agriculture, horticulture, garden pastures, parks, play-fields, forestry and salt manufacture from sea water may be permissible in this zone.

 

2.    Development of vacant plots between 200 and 500 metres from the high tide line in designated areas of CRZ-III with prior approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests is permitted for construction of hotels/beach resorts for temporary occupation of tourists/visitors subject to the conditions as stipulated in the guidelines given under Annexure II of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification as amended on 16/8/1994.

3.    Construction/reconstruction of dwelling units between 200 and 500 metres of the high tide line is permitted so long as it is within the ambit if traditional rights and customary uses such as existing fishing villages and gaothans. Building permission for such construction/reconstruction will be subject to the conditions that the total number of dwelling units shall not be more than twice the number of existing units; total covered area on all the floors shall not exceed 33 percent of the plot size; the overall height of construction shall not exceed 9 metres and construction shall not be more than 2 floors (ground floor plus one floor)

4.     Reconstruction/Alterations of an existing authorized building is permitted subject to (i) to (ii) above.

 

5.   Sanction for constructing 1st floor on an existing building

 

There should be no problem in getting sanction for constructing the first floor of the building as the ground floor plan has already been approved.  The plan should be submitted through the Corporation to the CMDA as the said plot comes within the CRZ II category.  Further, if there is an existing road that separates the river from the existing house, then sanction can even be got for extension of ground floor.

 

6.    The four zones in CRZ as per the 1991 Notification:

 

Category I (CRZ-I):</strong> Areas that are ecologically sensitive and important, such as national parks/marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wildlife habitats, mangroves, corals/coral reefs, areas close to breeding and spawning grounds of fish and other marine life, areas of outstanding natural beauty/historically/heritage areas, areas rich in genetic diversity, areas likely to be inundated due to rise in sea level consequent upon global warming and such other areas as may be declared by the Central Government or the concerned authorities at the State/Union Territory level from time to time. Area between Low Tide Line and the high Tide Line.

 

  1. 7.   M.S. Swaminathan Committee Review Report of the CRZ Notification 1991.

 

The M.S. Swaminathan Committee was the most recent one constituted to carry out a quick but comprehensive review of the CRZ Notification, 1991. The committee redefined the coastal zone, as the area from the territorial waters limit including its sea bed up to the landward boundary of the local self government abutting the sea coast. It also included inland water bodies influenced by tidal action and its bed and adjacent land area up to the landward boundary of the local self-government abutting such water bodies. In case of ecologically sensitive areas, the entire notified area/biological boundary of the area would be included.


A new categorisation of the coastal zone was suggested:

1. Coastal Management Zone-I (CMZ-I) - areas designated as ecologically sensitive.
2. Coastal Management Zone-II (CMZ-II) - areas identified as areas of particular concern such as economically important areas, high population areas and culturally/strategically important areas.
3. Coastal Management Zone-III (CMZ-III) - all other open areas including the coastal seas, but excluding those areas classified as CMZ-I, CMZ-II and CMZ-IV.
4. Coastal Management Zone-IV (CMZ- IV) - Islands of the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.


The committee recommended that vulnerability mapping be carried out for the entire country and also suggested that the MoEF should have funding mechanism for preparation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans for Ecologically Sensitive Areas, Integrated Management Plans for areas of particular concern, monitoring and enforcement, capacity building, awareness programme, bio-shields afforestation, women empowerment, participatory planning and development, warning systems and shelters against natural hazards, and all other programmes necessary for the integrated coastal area management in the country. A coastal policy and rules on the lines recommended by this Committee would be issued as a notification under the EPA (1986). A National Board was proposed for Sustainable Coastal Zone Management (CZM) to review periodically the implementation of the National Coastal Zone Management Action Plan, to initiate timely mid-corrections, where needed.

 

5.   The  main laws governing the Indian coast:

 

For the purpose of protecting and conserving the environment the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) 1986 was enacted. Under the EPA, MoEF has issued various Notifications for control of pollution and conservation of environmentally sensitive areas. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification was one such, issued in 1991. Apart from the CRZ Notification, 1991 there are many legislations/ Acts and rules related to coastal activities. The following are the important ones:

 

Indian Fisheries Act 1897,

Indian Ports Act 1902,

Merchant Shipping Act 1974,

Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA) 1972,

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974,

Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981,

Indian Coast Guards Act 1974,

Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act 1981,

EPA 1986, The Petroleum Act 1934,

National Environment Tribunal Act 1995,

Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules 1989 and;

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 1994.

 

6. What are the main laws governing the Indian coast?

For the purpose of protecting and conserving the environment the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) 1986 was enacted. Under the EPA, MoEF has issued various Notifications for control of pollution and conservation of environmentally sensitive areas. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification was one such, issued in 1991. Apart from the CRZ Notification, 1991 there are many legislations/ Acts and rules related to coastal activities. The following are the important ones: Indian Fisheries Act 1897, Indian Ports Act 1902, Merchant Shipping Act 1974, Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA) 1972, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, Indian Coast Guards Act 1974, Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act 1981, EPA 1986, The Petroleum Act 1934, National Environment Tribunal Act 1995, Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules 1989 and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 1994.

 

7. What are the types of coastal defense construction?

 

A belt of trees and / or shrubs arranged as a protection against strong winds a type of windbreak. A shelterbelt decreases the force of the wind near the ground, and act as a barrier. Coastal defence construction features generally fall into two categories.

 

Hard Defences

Defenses that tend to confront and resist the natural coastal processes, the static shoreline structures such as those constructed from timber, steel, concrete, asphalt andrubble.These involve linear structures such as sea walls, revetments and breastwork and control structures of artificial headlands, offshore breastwork and groynes

 

Soft Defences

Defenses designed to work with, rather than against the natural coastal processes. They tend to absorb rather than reflect wave energy and to be dynamic rather than static. Mobile/ responsive defence measures which seek to work with nature rather than control it. Such structures may consist of sand or shingle beaches and dunes or banks) which may be natural or constructed, and may include control structures. These can include soft solutions of beach nourishment, cliff/dune stabilisation, bypassing and managed retreat.

 

8. How do mangroves and Coral reef act as a shelter for the coast?

Mangrove and coral ecosystems have many values. One such is the protective function against wave and storm energy, both in terms of ongoing coastal erosion and from potentially destructive cyclones or typhoons. Mangrove ecosystems help to bind marine and terrestrial sediments, reducing coastal erosion and supporting clear offshore waters favorable to corals. Mangrove and coastal ecosystems can also protect shorelines by limiting the extent of wave intrusion, and subsequent salt damage to land. The shoreline protection services of mangrove and coral ecosystems are particularly valuable during extreme weather events, such as cyclones, typhoons and storms.

Coral reefs dissipate wave and storm energy and create lagoons and sedimentary environments favorable for the growth of mangroves and sea grasses. Reef provide a natural buffer against waves, storm surge and floods for most of the coastline. During storms they are a key factor in preventing loss of life, property and erosion. They contribute to the formation of sandy beaches and sheltered harbours. Healthy reefs offer the coast at least twice as much protection as dead reefs. Healthy reefs have rougher surfaces, which provide friction that slows the waves substantially in comparison with smoother, unhealthy ones.

9. I have a land near ECR and would like to build a resort or restaurant in that area. I need some information regarding CRZ plan to construct in that place.

As per the CRZ Notification (1991) under the Environment Protection Act (1986), construction of beach resorts/hotels with prior approval of MoEF in the designated areas of CRZ-III for temporary occupation of tourists/visitors shall be subject to the following conditions:

i) The project proponents shall not undertake any construction (including temporary constructions and fencing or such other barriers) within 200 metres (in the landward wide) from the High Tide Line and within the area between the Low Tide and High Tide Line;

(ia) live fencing and barbed wire fencing with vegetative cover may be allowed around private properties subject to the condition that such fencing shall in no way hamper public access to the beach;

(ib) no flattening of sand dunes shall be carried out;

(ic) no permanent structures for sports facilities shall be permitted except construction of goal posts, net posts and lamp posts.

(id) construction of basements may be allowed subject to the condition that no objection certificate is obtained from the State Ground Water Authority to the effect that such construction will not adversely affect free flow of ground water in that area. The State Ground Water Authority shall take into consideration the guidelines issued by the Central Government before granting such no objection certificate.



Explanation:
Though no construction is allowed in the No Development Zone for the purposes of calculation of FSI, the area of entire plot including 50% of the portion which falls within the No Development Zone shall be taken into account.


1. The total plot size shall not be less than 0.4 hectares and the total covered area on all floors shall not exceed 33 per cent of the plot size i.e. the FSI shall not exceed 0.33. The open area shall be suitably landscaped with appropriate vegetal cover;

2. The construction shall be consistent with the surrounding landscape and local architectural style;


3. The overall height of construction upto highest ridge of the roof, shall not exceed 9 metres and the construction shall not be more than 2 floors (ground floor plus one upper floor);


4. Ground water shall not be tapped within 200m of the HTL; within the 200 metre 500 metre zone, it can be tapped only with the concurrence of the Central/State Ground Water Board;


5. Extraction of sand, levelling or digging of sandy stretches except for structural foundation of building, swimming pool shall not be permitted within 500 metres of the High Tide Line;


6. The quality of treated effluents, solid wastes, emissions and noise levels, etc. from the project area must conform to the standards laid down by the competent authorities including the Central/State Pollution Control Board and under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;


7. Necessary arrangements for the treatment of the effluents and solid wastes must be made. It must be ensured that the untreated effluents and solid wastes are not discharged into the water or on the beach; and no effluent/solid waste shall be discharged on the beach;


8. To allow public access to the beach, at least a gap of 20 metres width shall be provided between any two hotels/beach resorts; and in no case shall gaps be less than 500 metres apart; and


9. If the project involves diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes, clearance as required under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 shall be obtained. The requirements of other Central and State laws as applicable to the project shall be met with.


10. Approval of the State/Union Territory Tourism Department shall be obtained.


7(2) In ecologically sensitive areas (such as marine parks, mangroves, coral reefs, breeding and spawning grounds of fish, wildlife habitats and such other areas as may notified by the Central/State Government/Union Territories) construction of beach resorts/hotels shall not be permitted.

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