Last month, the Environment Ministry rolled out a draft notification to modify the existing Coastal Regulatory Zone norms. The new enactment will allow tourism and industrial activities along India's 7,500 km coastline. This can have devastating consequences.
The ministry thinks that industrial growth, tourism and coastal real estate are more important than the pristine eco-sensitive nature of India’s coastal stretches. The Draft Coastal Regulatory Zone Notification 2018 looks to transform coastal areas into launch pads of economic prosperity. This will come at the cost of biodiversity and the livelihoods of millions of fisherfolk, who will be stripped off their customary access and rights over coastal commons.
The new rules also state that “Intertidal Areas” aka areas that experience tidal action and other Ecologically Sensitive Regions like mangroves, sand dunes, mud flats, coral reefs and salt marshes can now be used for construction of “Strategic” “Defence” “Security” and “Public Utility” Projects. However, the draft does not provide any details on what these words mean or what kind of projects can be constructed in these areas.
At a time when we are facing the grim realities of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise, the government should be putting in additional efforts to protect coastal areas, its inhabitants and existing infrastructure. Instead, our coast is being butchered in the name of “development”.
If this notification comes through, millions of fisherfolk in India stand to be affected, thousands of acres of ecologically sensitive areas stand to be destroyed and we all stand in the line of facing the vagaries of a climate uncertain future.
We have one month, until June 18, to tell the Environment Ministry to withdraw this draft. Here are our comments we have put together - https://bit.ly/2IQ4Dv2
You can find the draft CRZ notification here - http://envfor.nic.in/sites/default/files/press-releases/DRAFT%20CRZ%20NOTIFICATION%2020181.pdf
Subject : Comments on the Draft Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2018 – Demanding Withdrawal of Draft
Please refer to the Public Notice bearing No. F.No.19-112/2013-1A-II1 dated 18/04/2018, inviting comments/suggestions/views on the Draft Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2018 within 60 days from 18/04/2018.
Our comments on the draft, along with the demand to withdraw this draft in its entirety can be found here -- https://bit.ly/2IQ4Dv2
Hope you take these into consideration.