After nearly seven years, the central government approved changes in a set of rules that regulate development activities along India’s 7,500 km long coastline.
The new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018 – approved by the Union Cabinet on Thursday allowed construction of temporary structures on the beach to facilitate tourism and permit construction and other developmental activities in coastal villages.
Temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms and drinking water facilities have now been permitted in beaches.
Such temporary facilities are also now permissible in the “No Development Zone” of the CRZ-III areas (relatively undisturbed areas) as per the notification. This is expected to boost tourism in virgin beaches.
However, a minimum distance of 10 metre from high tide line should be maintained for setting up of such facilities.
The new CRZ rules would provide greater development opportunity in densely populated rural areas along the cost as two separate CRZ categories have been created in an effort to strike a balance between ecological consideration vis-a-vis people’s aspiration.
Areas with a population density of 2,161 per square kilometre as per 2011 census will come under the category of CRZ-IIIA where the outer limit of the no development zone has been slashed by 150 mt.
From a minimum distance of 200 mt from the high tide line (HTL) in the 2011 notification, the extent of the NDZ has been reduced to 50 mt from the HTL. Similar restrictions currently only for urban areas.
For areas with population density below 2,161, the existing restrictions on having a NDZ up to 200 mt from the HTL would continue.
The changes in the regulations were made on the basis of the recommendations of an expert committee set up by the NDA government after it received submissions from various state governments on how CRZ-2011 regulations hampered development works near the coast besides restraining tourism activities.
The expert panel was headed by space scientist Shailesh Nayak, a former secretary to the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
“The changes brought about in the CRZ notification will further add to creating additional opportunities for affordable housing. This will benefit not only the housing sector but the people at large looking for shelter,” says a statement issued by the Union Cabinet.
“Tourism has been one of the greatest creators of livelihood and jobs. The new notification will boost tourism in terms of more activities, more infrastructure and more opportunities and will certainly go a long way in creating employment opportunities,” it adds.