The Report of the Committee to Review the Issues relating to the Coastal Regulation Zone, 2011 was submitted to the government.
Shailesh Nayak Committee has recently relaxed norms under coastal regulation zones.
It has proposed for allowing housing infrastructure and slum redevelopment activities, tourism, ports and harbor and fisheries-related activities in coastal regulation zone.
On development and construction, the report recommends that all activities except those requiring environmental clearances should fall under the ambit of the state and local planning bodies instead of being regulated by central policy.
The areas affected by this amendment would be coastal towns, rural areas and waters up to 12 nautical miles from the coast.
For rural areas with a population density of over 2,161 persons/sq km, the committee has recommended that the “no-development buffer zone” be limited to 50m from the High Tide Line (HTL).
For other areas, the buffer has been recommended at 200m from the HTL.
This HTL, though has not been determined for the country’s coastline yet and is currently being put together by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management.
The report has also called for allowing reclamation of lands for specific infrastructure such as ports, bridges and fisheries-related structures for the “larger public interest”.
The recommendations make a case for allowing temporary tourist facilities in no-development zones in coastal areas as well as permanent structures on the landward sides of national/state highways when these pass through these zones.
Further, especially considering the plea from the government of Maharashtra, the panel has suggested that urban planning rules prepared by local authorities be prioritised for slum development and rehabilitation instead of the 2011 regulations which were deemed restrictive by states.
States would also be able to decide the Floor Area Ratio for construction activity in coastal areas if the recommendations are implemented.
The committee has suggested that the central government’s role in coastal areas be limited to environmental clearances and regulating environmentally-sensitive areas.
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