PIL challenging CRZ 2019 notification filed in Bombay HC
Environmental action group Vanashakti has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court (HC) challenging the constitutional validity of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2019 issued by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The PIL has claimed the new CRZ regulations drastically reduces protection granted to coastal areas in the country by reducing No Development Zone Areas on the coast thus reducing the number of prohibited activities in CRZ areas. The PIL is expected to come up for hearing in due course.
The PIL has claimed that the CRZ 2019 notification is unconstitutional, arbitrary and violates the right to live in a healthy environment and right to life. The PIL claims that some of the provisions in the notifications have already been struck down by the Supreme Court in earlier judgements and contrary to the recommendations of the various committees appointed by the government of India to review the CRZ regime. The petition also claims the provisions are in violation of section 5(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act and were not part of the draft CRZ notification.
The PIL has further claimed that the 2019 notification reduces the limits of protected areas near tidally-influenced water bodies, dispensing with the requirement of conducting an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report in many instances, diluting essential components of Coastal Zone Maps, diluting protection granted to mangroves, increasing FSI in CRZ areas, deleting special protections granted to traditional fishermen communities, and deleting special provisions relating to Greater Mumbai.
The PIL is expected to be heard for urgent interim reliefs in due course.