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E062610_Protecting_India’s_Coastline -...

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EDITORIALS june 26, 2010 vol xlv nos 26 & 27 EPW Economic & Political Weekly 8 Protecting India’s Coastline The pre-draft Coastal Regulation Zone Notification of 2010 is a weak attempt to strengthen the 1991 rules. T he Coastal Regulation Zone ( CRZ ) notification of 1991, enacted under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 aimed at controlling and minimising environmental damage to sensitive coastal areas due to unplanned develop- ment. As a result, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers, coastal stretches of seas and backwaters affected by tidal action (land- wards side) up to 500 metres from the High Tide Line ( HTL ), and the land between Low Tide Line ( LTL ) and HTL came under the CRZ . However, the 1991 notification was rendered largely ineffective due to poor enforcement. Further, vested interests managed to bring in 25 amendments that gradually hacked away at the principle that only activities that require water front and foreshore facilities should be permitted in the coastal areas. The draft Coastal Management Zone ( CMZ ) notification that was issued in 2008 was supposed to address the problems in the CRZ of 1991 , but what it did contain was even weaker provisions, which had been drawn up with limited public consultations. The CMZ notification of 2008 was fortunately allowed to lapse in 2009, based on the recommendations of
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