The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification originally issued in 1991 and revised in 2001 has been a subject of controversy in all the coastal states and Union Territories in the country. While the friends of sea and nature and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) welcomed the notification, state governments, Central government departments and industry organisations, especially of the tourism and hospitality sectors, strongly criticised the notification for its stringent provisions on new projects on the sea front.
For regulating development activities, on the coastal stretches within 500 meters of high tide line on the landward side, the coastal zones are classified into four categories of CRZ-1 to CRZ- 4.
The development or construction activities in different categories of CRZ area are to be regulated by the state or Union Territory-level authorities. The regulatory norms are laid down in the Annexure-1 to the Notification.
State and Central government departments and industries consider these norms as artificial obstructions to their development plans. Several amusement and holiday projects, aquaculture projects and the like in Tamil Nadu had to be abandoned because of these regulations.
The Union ministry of environment and forest is organising a national workshop here on Friday and Saturday to review the implementation of the notification and suggest alternative strategies for Coastal Zone Management. Dr S Ramachandran, director of Institute of Ocean Management, Anna University, is the chief co-ordinator for the workshop.
The three principal subjects that the workshop would discuss at length are the implementation of the notification by the state governments and Union Territories, the views of the stakeholders and the non-governmental organisations on the notification and its implementation and alternate strategies for coastal zone management.
The Union minister for environment and forest, Mr A Raja (DMK), would inaugurate the conference. He would release the book, `India's initial national communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change', prepared by the ministry of environment and forest.
The state and Union Territory-level coastal zone management authorities of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, Lakshadweep, and Pondicherry would make presentations on the status of implementation of the CRZ Notification.
The ministries of torusim, shipping, agriculture, industry, mines, and commerce, the Confederation of Indian Industries, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Department of Space and Department of Ocean Development, and NGOs would also make their presentations at the two-day workshop.