1. What is CRZ ? Is it an Act or Rule or Regulation? What is effect ?
It is a notification issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and has got all the effects of law. Therefore the CRZ Notification is a law and everyone is bound by it.
2. Whether the CRZ notification applies to all rivers in the country ?
No . CRZ applies only to those water bodies which is affected by tidal action. Mere pushing of fresh water by tidal effect is not sufficient. The salinity in the said water body must be above 10 ppt (parts per thousand). In Kerala while preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plan , such water bodies affected by tidal effects are identified and demarcated. The copy of the Plan is available in Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS), Aakkulam, Thiruvanantpuaram . Smaller version of the said Plan is available in most of the libraries and Panchayat Offices.
3. How is it possible to ascertain whether one's property is affected by CRZ regulations ?
The State has prepared a Coastal Zone Management Plan identifying and classifying the coastal areas of the state. The said Plan prepared in December, 1995 identifies the CRZ areas in the state. It is available in all the Panchayats, Libraries and other important places. The bigger version is available in Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS), Aakkulam, Thiruvanantpuram . With the help of the said Plan it can be identified as to whether the property is affected by CRZ or not. For preparing a plan one has to approach the CESS, who is authorized by the Government of India
4. How the CRZ I , CRZ-II and CRZ-III can be easily identified ?
In the State of Kerala, all the Municipalities and Municipal Corporations are categorized as CRZ-II. All the Panchayats are classified as CRZ-III. All the CRZ-1 (ecologically sensitive areas) in Municipalities, Municipal Corporations, and Panchayats are separately marked. Pillars have been put in many places so as to identify HTL by the CESS. See one of the pillars put in Thiruvanathapuram area.
5. To what distance the CRZ applies ?
From the sea, a distance of 500 meters from High Tide Level is CRZ areas. For rivers, creeks and backwaters the distance of prohibition is 100 meters or the width of the river whichever is less. For backwater islands it has been reduced to 50 metres in the new CRZ Notification, 2011.
6. What steps should be taken to make constructions in coastal areas ?
In CRZ-III areas construction is possible on the land between 200 meters and 500 metres , subject to certain conditions. For that one has to make applications to the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority who will consider the same and will sanction, if it is in accordance with law. The application has to be forwarded through the concerned Panchayat/Municipal office
7. Does the Coastal Zone Management Authority have the power to grant exemption to any activity ?
NO. Granting of exemption from the purview of CRZ laws is not permitted. In fact the Government of India amended the notification in 1994 empowering them to grant exemption from CRZ on case to case basis. But the same was struck down by the Supreme Court stating that such power is arbitrary and struck down the provision as unconstitutional. Therefore it is not possible to grant exemption to any person from the applicability of the law.
8. To what construction the CRZ applies ?
CRZ applies to all constructions made after 19th February, 1991. The existing buildings can be re-constructed without changing the architectural character and subject to conditions.
THE ABOVE ANSWERS ARE ONLY SUGGESTONS AND THE READERS ARE REQUESTED TO READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE NOTIFICATION