In a move to identify the extent of coastal violations, the environment ministry has asked the state governments to inform it about the violations and action taken against them under Coastal Regulations of 1991 within four months.
The decision came after the ministry ordered demolition of Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba, Mumbai, for alleged violations of the coastal regulations.
The direction has been issued under section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, which empowers the ministry to initiate action against the violator, if the state government fails to act.
Nalini Bhat, advisor with the ministry, said once the violations are identified the state governments are required to take action against the violators. The ministry has stipulated a period of four months for completing the entire exercise and report back.
In a bid to ensure that there is transparency, the ministry has directed the state governments to upload the relevant details of the identified violations, including the action taken against these violations.
The environment ministry is itself party in around 600 cases of coastal violations and it is believed that the number may be in several thousand.
The ministry has also made it clear that none of the violations will be condoned as new Coastal Regulation of 2011, replacing the 1991, has come into force. "Action will have to taken as per the older violation unless specified in the new rules," an official explained.
The ministry has advised the state governments to utilize satellite imagery to identify the violations on the lines of Goa government, which has submitted satellite proofs of the violations to Supreme Court in a Public Interest Litigation filed by Goa Foundation.
Number of violations has been reported in Mumbai, coastal towns in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In some cases the state coastal zone management authorities have initiated action, officials said.
The National Coastal Zone Management Authority has sought help of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to get the coastal mapping done to identify the violations on the real time basis.