CHENNAI: With the judiciary cracking down on unauthorised constructions, the State government has commissioned a comprehensive study to assess the impact of hotels, beach resorts, amusement parks, and other recreational facilities on the coastline. A private consultant has been appointed to conduct the study, said Jayanti Murali, member secretary of the State Coastal Zone Management Authority TNSCZMA.
“The study will focus on the impact of tourism and recreational facilities on the coastal marine ecosystem in the stretch between Chennai and Mamallapuram. The study will help develop proper monitoring systems, and mitigation measures,” she said. The one-year study will be conducted by Care Earth Trust, and the project executed by the State Coastal Zone Development Fund.
The consultant has been mandated to review land records and secondary literature. Geo-spatial analysis of changes in land usage, land cover, infrastructure, population density, will be looked into, besides on-site assessment of both individual and cumulative impact. Data obtained will then be synthesized, analysed and recommendations will be made to address the future development.
Additionally, remedial actions will be suggested and guidelines for minimizing impact on coastal ecosystem will be proposed. The new CRZ Notification, 2018 facilitates construction of beach resorts, hotels and tourism development projects both in CRZ-III and CRZ-II areas with certain ‘loose’ guidelines. Besides, the new notification allows temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities on beaches.
The notification also has streamlined the process of CRZ clearances and only projects located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 nautical miles seaward) will now be dealt by the Union Environment Ministry for clearance. The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the state level. Express has reported extensively on CRZ violation along the ECR and in Muthukadu, where a row of bungalows were built within 20 metres from the sea. Due to sea erosion, many of these bungalows have developed cracks and collapsed.
Additionally, remedial actions will also be suggested by the study and guidelines for minimising impact on coastal ecosystem will be proposed