Policy | Vol. 11, Issue 67, July - August 2011

Coastal Regulation Zone 2011

The coastal zone is a scarce, vulnerable and dynamic territory, where natural, economic, demographic, social and environmental aspects come together. As R. Sudarshana et al., express it, in their book titled, Subtle Issues in Coastal Management, published by Indian Institute of Remote Sensing in 2000, the coastal zone has always been by far the most exploited geographical unit on earth. A concern thus arose as to how much area within the coastal system should be left as ‘open space’ to avoid risks - due to sea level rise, coastal populations, loss of habitats, loss of ecologically sensitive areas, as well as to ensure preservation of natural beauty. A need was felt to designate these open spaces, through a ‘legal framework’ to facilitate adjustments to the changing conditions of the coastal systems and to ensure equity of resource distribution. The safe distance necessitated providing a defined designated and earmarked zone in which human interference was prohibited. This was the beach setback region, where any developmental activity would be prohibited. [caption id="attachment_2282" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image: The estuary at Anjarle, on the Konkan coast in Maharashtra.[/caption] On 15 February 1991, India created history by the promulgation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification for conserving the coastal belt of India, and on 20 February 1991, the said notification came into force with a mandate to preserve and conserve...

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