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Ban on sale of coastal houses recommended
April 09, 2010

Ban on sale of coastal houses recommended

http://oheraldo.in/news/Main%20Page%20News/Ban-on-sale-of-coastal-houses-recommended/35659.html

09 April 2010

Herald Correspondent, New Delhi:

A panel constituted by the Environment Ministry for public consultations on the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991 has recommended a ban on sale or transfer of houses of fishermen and other coastal communities to outsiders that fall within 200 metres from the high tide line (HTL). It also wants their dwelling units within 500 metres of HTL to be protected and allowed reconstruction and repairs.

It has also recommended that no permission should be granted for special economic zones (SEZs(, industries, atomic power plants, ports and other infrastructure projects within 500 metres of HTL

Based on the wide-scale public consultations, the panel has also recommended a legalisation to grant traditional rights to fishers on the lines of the law enacted in 2006 to provide ownership rights to traditional forest dwellers.

The panel has also suggested constitution of “green bench” courts in all coastal districts and “fishers courts” on the lines of consumer courts to deal with cases related to issues like sea safety, insurance coverage, CRZ violations, compensation claims, disaster risk reduction, conflict resolution, protection against coastal ecological damage, and pollution control.

The report submitted to the Environment Ministry last month is based on 10 consultations carried out by the panel between August 2009 and February 2010. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had personally attended first five consultations held in Mumbai, Chennai, Goa, Puri and Cochin while other five were held in Pudicherry, Vijayawada, Kakdwip, Rajkot and Mangalore.

Pointing out the frequent amendments made in the 1991 CRZ notification as there is no Act of Parliament on CRZ, the panel suggested that at least a clause should be added that further amendments will be made only through public consultation process with the local fishermen and other coastal communities. It also wanted the notification and other policy documents related to coastal regulation be made available in the languages of the coastal states.

The panel said almost all turning up during the consultations suggested stringent punishment for CRZ violations and framing a mechanism to monitor such violations. They also sought a total ban on sand mining in the coastal areas through an amendment in the CRZ notification. They wanted legal protection to beaches against sand mining and degradation..

Participants at several consultations expressed their concern about over exploitation of ground water in coastal areas and wanted ground water aquifers in the areas be regulated to reduce salt water ingression.

Participants from Goa and Kerala suggested that states like Goa and Kerala which have distinct ecological significance should be seen as special cases while strengthening CRZ. Those who coordinated with the panel for organising the consultations included Sujeetkumar Dongre, Sanskriti Menon and Laxmikant Deshpande in Goa and Maharashtra and Pramod Sharma, Shriji Kurup and Parthiv Darji in Gujarat.