1. What is CRZ? Is it an Act or Rule or Regulation? What is the effect?
It is a notification issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and has got all the effects of the 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 are affected by tidal action. Mere pushing of freshwater by tidal effect is not sufficient. The salinity in the said water body must be above 10 ppt (parts per thousand). All the states have prepared Coastal Zone Management Plans identifying and classifying the areas into different categories.
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 (CZMP) identifying and classifying the coastal areas of the state. The said Plan prepared in December 1995 identifies the CRZ areas in the state. On the basis of the new CRZ Notification, 2011 new Coastal Zone Management Plans are approved. The CRZ status of the property can be ascertained from the said new CZMP’s
4. What should be done to change the categories in the approved CZMP?
If the CZMP does not show the real status of the property you can object to the classification by writing a letter to the concerned State Coastal Zone Management Authority to change it. In case they do not do you can approach the National Coastal Zone Management Authority.
5. To what distance the CRZ applies? Whether any relaxations are given in 2019 notification?
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. Some more relaxations have been given in the CRZ, 2019 notification. For getting the benefit of the same the new CZMP has to be prepared and get it approved. Till such time the CZMP prepared as per 2011 notification will prevail.
6. What steps should be taken to make constructions in coastal regulation zones?
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 concerned Coastal Zone Management Authority who will consider the application and grant necessary sanction if it is in accordance with the 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 an 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 an 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.
9. How can one get it changed the CRZ status of the property?
One can make an application for the revision of the CRZ status to the concerned State Coastal Zone Management Authority. Now a new CZMP is under preparation as per 2019 notification. Thereafter it will be displayed for public comments. At that time also one can object to the change in the CRZ status of the property.
10. In so far as Kerala is concerned whether a change in the status of the property from Panchayat to Municipalities/Municipal Corporation will change the categorisation from CRZ-III to CRZ-II?
No. Mere change of the status by the concerned State Government through a notification is not sufficient to change the CRZ status. The approved CZMP has to be changed and it should be approved by MoEF&CC
THE ABOVE ANSWERS ARE ONLY SUGGESTIONS AND THE READERS ARE REQUESTED TO READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE NOTIFICATION
Page prepared by Adv.P.B.SAHASRANAMAN