The Centre on Monday notified regulations imposing fresh restrictions on development activity within 500 meters of the 7,500-km long Indian coastline divided into four zones depending on ecological sensitivity.
A special relaxation has been given to Greater Mumbai, which includes old and new Mumbai. The new regulations have been enforced after deliberations for over five years.
Even the proposed airport at Navi Mumbai comes under the ambit of the relaxed rules but it will have to pass the test of a expert appraisal committee.
In Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) one, which includes mangrove belts and coral reefs, construction of new approach roads has been allowed if they don’t disturb free flow of tidal water.
In the CRZ-II areas developed close to shoreline in Mumbai, the ministry has allowed existing development activity and has provided special exemption for slum rehabilitation schemes undertaken by the government.
However, the ministry has decided to declare all open areas including parks and playgrounds in Greater Mumbai as “no development zone”, which is CRZ-III area.
The ministry has brought all backwaters of Kerala under the CRZ regulation, 2010 but has allowed fishing activity and construction dwelling unit for local communities in these areas.
In case of Goa, the ministry has decided that the state government will survey all fishing villages. However, popular beaches such as Mandrem, Morjim, Galgiba and Agonda have been designated as turtle nesting site, where no development activity will be allowed.
Sunderbans in West Bengal, Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, Achra-Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Bhaitarkanika in Orissa have been described as critically vulnerable coastal areas.