Centre invites suggestions over new draft 'Island Protection Zone Notification'

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (ANI): Union Environment and Forests Ministry has issued a draft Island Protection Zone Notification under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 inviting suggestions and objections within a period of sixty days.

The notification is based on facts expessed by M S Swaminathan Committee and with a view of providing livelihood security to the local communities, promote conservation and protection of islands unique environment and its marine area.

The notification was also aimed at promoting development through sustainable integrated management plan based on scientific principles taking into account the vulnerability of the coast to natural hazards.

The issues relating to management of islands has been examined in detail in M. S. Swaminathan Committee reports of February, 2005 and July, 2009.

The committee in its report recommended introduction of new management regime for Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

For the purpose of protecting and conserving the coastal environment of the country including that of islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep, the Ministry had issued the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991.

The notification classifies the CRZ area into four categories --CRZ-I (eco-sensitive areas such as mangroves, coral, forest areas etc.), CRZ-II (urban areas), CRZ-III (rural areas) and CRZ-IV (Islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep).

The notification regulates the developmental activities within the Coastal Regulation Zone area i.e., 500 meters from the High Tide Line along the coast and 100 to 150 meters from the High Tide Line along tidal influenced water bodies.

As per the new draft notification, the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep administaration shall prepare an Integrated Island Management Plan (IIMP).

Accroding to new draft notification all existing, proposed developments, conservation and preservation schemes, dwelling units including infrastructure projects such as, schools, markets, hospitals, public facilities, need to be cleard by IIMPs.

The Ministry has already initiated a project for preparing IIMPs for the inhabited islands through reputed scientific institutions-Institute for Ocean Management, Chennai and Centre or Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.(ANI)

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