Coasting on unclarity

  • 27/02/2007

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 1991: The CRZ area is defined as coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers, backwaters, all influenced by tidal action (in the landward side). The CRZ area is up to 500 metres from the high tide line and the land between the low tide line and high tide line. The high tide line is defined as the line on the land up to which the highest water line reaches during the spring tide. The 500 metre distance from the high tide line also applies to rivers, creeks and backwaters, which can be modified, provided this distance shall not be less than 100 metres from the high tide line and shall be determined based on salinity concentration of 5 parts per thousand (ppt).

Based on the ecological sensitivity, geomorphological features and demographic distribution, the CRZ area is classified into four categories: CRZ-I (ecologically sensitive and high tidal); CRZ-II (urban or developed), CRZ-III (rural or undeveloped), CRZ-IV (Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshwadeep islands).

No development is permitted in crz I areas.

In crz ii development is permitted (or proposed in the approved coastal zone management plan) on the landward side of existing authorised structures.

In crz iii areas, the land up to 200 metres from the high tide line is to be earmarked as No Development Zone (other than in Special Economic Zones) and use is mainly restricted to agriculture and essential use of local inhabitants. Development of vacant plots between 200 and 500 metres of the high tide line for construction of hotels, beach resorts for "temporary occupation' of tourists is permitted with permission from the MoEF. Construction and reconstruction of traditional dwelling units between 200 and 500 metres of the high tide line is permitted so long as it is within the "traditional rights and customary uses' such as existing fishing villages and goathans. Building is subject to the condition that the total number of dwelling units shall not be more than twice the number of existing units; total covered area on all floors shall not exceed 33 per cent of the plot size; the overall construction shall not exceed 9 metres and construction not be more than 2 floors (ground+one).