COASTAL REGULATION ZONE (CRZ) RULES
GS 3: Environment-Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation
Why in news?
The Supreme Court last week ordered the demolition, within a month, of five apartment complexes in Maradu municipality in Ernakulam, Kerala, for violating Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) norms. The order came on a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA).
What are CRZ Rules?
- CRZ Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea.
- The Rules, mandated under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, were first framed in 1991.
- They sought to restrict certain kinds of activities, like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, or reclamation and bunding, within a certain distance from the coastline.
- The basic idea is: because areas immediately next to the sea are extremely delicate, home to many marine and aquatic life forms, both animals and plants, and are also threatened by climate change, they need to be protected against unregulated development.
- While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union Environment Ministry, implementation is supposed to be done by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities. The states are also supposed to frame their own coastal zone management plans in accordance with the central Rules.
CRZ rules 2018:
- The Environment Ministry issued fresh CRZ Rules in December 2018, which removed certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.
- For the so-called CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have been stipulated. In the densely populated rural areas (CRZ-IIIA) with a population density of 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 Census, the no-development zone is now 50 m from the high-tide level, as against the 200 m stipulated earlier.
- In the CRZ-IIIB category (rural areas with population density below 2,161 per sq km) continue to have a no-development zone extending up to 200 m from the high-tide line.
- The new Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland