Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has notified the draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2018 guidelines for comments of the public and stakeholders in the next 60 days.
The new draft CRZ notification has a major recommendation which would boost tourism development in coastal areas of the country which remains untapped due to the stringent regulatory framework.
Key recommendations of the proposed notification is an exemption in CRZ-IA areas which are classified as most sensitive and generally no activities shall be permitted to be carried out. The Draft proposes Eco-tourism activities such as mangrove walks, tree huts, nature trails, etc., in identified stretches areas subject to such eco-tourism plan featuring in the approved CZMPs with due consultative process/ public hearing etc. and further subject to environmental safeguards and precautions related to the Ecologically Sensitive Areas, as enlisted in the CZMPs.
In the CRZ II areas as well, the proposed guidelines recommend development of vacant plots in designated areas for construction of beach resorts/hotels subject to the conditions/guidelines. Temporary tourism facilities shall be permissible in the beaches falling in CRZ II areas. Such temporary facilities shall only include shacks, toilets/washrooms, change rooms, shower panels; walkways constructed using interlocking paver blocks etc., drinking water facilities, seating arrangements etc.
Such facilities shall, however, be permitted only subject to the tourism plan featuring in the approved CZMPs as per this Notification, framed with due consultative process/ public hearing etc. and further subject to environmental safeguards enlisted in the CZMPs.
In areas falling under CRZ III, wherever there is a national or state highway passing through the NDZ of CRZ-III areas, temporary tourism facilities such as toilets, change rooms, drinking water facility and temporary shacks can be taken up on the seaward side of the road.
On the landward side of such roads in the NDZ, Resorts/hotels and associated tourism facilities shall be permitted. Such facilities shall, however, be permitted only subject to the incorporation of tourism plan in the approved CZMPs as per this Notification and the conditions/guidelines applicable.
The Draft also recommends certain conditions for such construction activities in both CRZ II and III areas. In CRZ III areas, the total covered area on all floors shall not exceed 33 per cent of the plot size i.e., the Floor Space Index shall not exceed 0.33 and the open area shall be suitably landscaped with appropriate vegetal cover; the overall height of construction up to the highest ridge of the roof, shall not exceed 9 metres and the construction shall not be more than two floors (ground floor plus one upper floor); Construction of beach resorts or hotels shall not be permitted in Ecologically sensitive areas (such as marine parks, mangroves, coral reefs, breeding and spawning grounds of fish, wildlife habitats and such other area as may be notified by the Central or State Government Union territories).
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