1. What is RRZ? The ministry of environment and forests has brought out a blueprint for river regulation zones (RRZ), modelled on the coastal regulation zone, that proposes to prohibit or regulate developmental activities on riverfronts and floodplains. It seeks to have a National River Conservation Authority headed by secretary of the ministry.
2. What stage is it in? The ministry has sent a draft river zone notification to state governments seeking their views. It was sent two months ago. The proposed river regulation zones will be under the ambit of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
3. Three zones proposed under RRZ: RRZ has proposed a prohibited activities zone that will extend from the riverbank to the outer edge of the floodplain and beyond — 500 metres from the highest flood level during the past 50 years.
4. Restricted activities zones: These zones will be floodplain areas which are subjected to less frequent flooding than areas under the former category and which lie farther from the river. The limits will extend up to 1 km from the outer limits of the prohibited zone.
5. Regulated activities zone: The limits of such zones will extend up to 3 km from the outer limits of the restricted activities zone. Only certain activities such as traditional organic farming and recreational activities that do not require boat jetties will be permitted.