Lakshadweep is India’s only state with a coastal regulation plan to protect its marine ecosystem
Under the coastal regulation zone notification 2011, nine coastal states and four union territories were asked to create plans to protect coastal and marine ecosystems along India’s almost 7,400 km coastline. Only one did.Updated: Aug 01, 2017, 10:54 IST
Even as the government mulls notifying new coastal regulations that environmentalists say will weaken protections for India’s coastal ecosystems, India’s Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan revealed that only one state had submitted coastal zone management plan.
All states and Union Territories that have coasts are required to have Coastal Zone Management Plans to protect coastal and marine ecosystems along India’s almost 7,400 km coastline under the Coastal Zone Management Rules notified in 2011
The rest of the states are in process,” A K Mehta, joint secretary at the environment ministry, said. Mehta did not say when the new regulations would be notified.
The states submit a plan to the Centre, which has to be approved it within four months. The environment minister informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday that only Lakshadweep had submitted a plan to the ministry.
The information adds weight to environmentalists’ claim that previous coastal regulations were not properly implemented and the government rushed to notify new rules without detailed consultation with stakeholders.
The lax implementation of the coastal zone management rules was taken up by the National Green Tribunal in May. The apex green court blamed the centre and the state governments for shifting blame and criticised them for the undue delay in coming up with regulation plan.
There are nine coastal states in India, and four union territories that have a coast and are required to submit these plans.
The government has amended the 2011 rules nine times, with the majority of the amendments cominng under teh NDA rule. The environment ministry is in the process of finalising a draft of a new set of coastal regulations titled the “Marine Coastal Regulatory Zone Notification.”