Maharashtra without CRZ managemet plan since January 31

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 11 Maret 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Maharashtra, which has the fourth-longest coastline in the country, has been missing a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) more than a month as the old plan lapsed and has not yet been renewed. This crucial blue-print categorises areas that fall within the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) where construction is restricted and can even be denied.

The state's CZMP had expired in early 2013 but received two extensions. It lapsed once again on January 31st. The new draft, however, is far from ready. 'We had asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to revalidate the earlier CZMP for at least six months. We sent our proposal to them a month ago but have not had a response yet," says principal secretary (environment) Ajoy Mehta.

Without the CZMP, the environment department has stopped clearing proposals for projects within the CRZ zone. At least 20 building projects are awaiting clearances, officials said. The CZMP categorises CRZ zones based on their ecological sensitivity and distance from the shore. Each zone specifies the type and extent of construction allowed.

The builder lobby is not too worried. "The old plan will be extended and it is just a matter of time before building proposals are processed," says Sunil Mantri, President of the National Real Estate Development Council.

A larger concern is why the new CZMP is not ready even two years after the old plan had initially lapsed. Officials say that very few municipalities have submitted their drafts which are to be incorporated in the state's CZMP. So far, only the Mira-Bhayendar and Mumbai municipalities have readied drafts. The drafts are open to public scrutiny for two months.

In fact, few states across the country have been able to send their new CZMP proposals to the Union Ministry for clearance. This even though the CZMP is meant to be updated every five years. "After Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra has made the most progress in updating the CZMP," claimed a senior official from the environment department.

Officials say the CZMPs are getting delayed because they need to be compiled by agencies with the technical competence to demarcate tide lines. However, green activists allege the maps have deliberately been delayed. "If the CZMP is prepared accurately, it will reveal how many projects have been given wrong clearances," says Debi Goenka from the Conservation Action Trust. municipalities,Mira-Bhayendar,Maharashtra,Coastal Zone Management Plan

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