Centre starts consultations on draft CMZ Notification

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New Delhi, May 21 (UNI) The long-awaited draft Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) Notification has been finalised by the Centre and released for comments of stakeholders.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests today said it had already started the process of consultations on the new proposed regulations.

The first notification for regulation of coastal areas had been brought out in 1991.

The new draft Notification classifies the coastal zone into four categories of ecologically sensitive areas, areas of particular concern, open areas including the coastal waters upto territorial limits and islands of Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, offshore islands and islands in coastal backwaters.

The first category of ecologically sensitive area would be mapped, notified by the Central government and managed through Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans.

These areas include mangroves, coral reefs, sand beaches and sand dunes, mudflats marine wildlife protected areas under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, coastal freshwater bodies such as creeks, lakes, salt marshes, turtle nesting grounds, Horse shoe crabs habitats, sea grass beds, sea weed beds and nesting grounds of birds.

The CMZ-II area which includes coastal municipalities/ corporations, coastal panchayats with population density more than 400 people per sq km, ports and harbours, tourism areas, airports will be managed through Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans.

In the CMZ-III areas, the activities will be regulated on the seaward side of the setback line, while, developments on the landward side of the setback line can be undertaken as per local town and country planning regulations. In the areas classified as CMZ-IV, the management would be through Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans.

The existing dwelling units and other infrastructures already existing on the seaward side of the setback line will not be disturbed. Further, no activities relating to fishing by traditional community shall be disturbed.

For the purpose of regulating the activities in the CMZ area, a setback line on the landward side in the area would be demarcated based on vulnerability of the coast to natural and manmade hazards.

The mapping of the setback line in the CMZ-I, II and III will be demarcated taking into account the parameters such as elevation, Geomorphology, sea level trends and horizontal shoreline displacement.

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