KOCHI: In a major development, to have a clear idea about the areas under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) in Kochi Corporation, a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) has been prepared.
This, along with a detailed map of the Corporation marking the CRZ areas, was prepared by National Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, for Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment.
Apart from Kochi Corporation, parts of Maradu municipality and adjoining panchayats have also been included in the plan.
It is learnt that the plan will be submitted to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest for approval after consultations with stakeholders/public.
The management plan reveals that there have been 107 Reclaimed Lands under CRZ of Kochi Corporation since 2002. These areas include inter-tidal zone and mangroves.
The total CRZ area is 9.32 kms which includes those areas outside the revenue boundaries in the inter-tidal zone.
“As of now, there is no clarity about CRZ areas in the Corporation. The details should be available in a manner which is understandable by everyone. With the new management plan we hope that there will be clarity on this issue,” said K J Sohan, chairman, standing committee for Town Planning, Kochi Corporation.
The CRZ of Kochi consists of CRZ I, CRZ II, CRZ III and CRZ IV. Other than CRZ I, CRZ IV and open spaces such as parks and play grounds have built-up area over 50 per cent and hence could be considered as CRZ II.
The plan suggests to include the areas upstream of Iron Bridge, Pettah Bridge and Champakara Bridge in CRZ, as the salinity is greater than 5 ppt.
It was found that Avicennia officinalis, Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Sonneratia caseolaris, Excoecaria species, Acanthus ilicifolius and Derris sp are the dominant varieties of mangroves in the corporation area.
“Within 50 m from the High Tide Line (HTL) (line of maximum reach of seawater into the land during spring tide) of these backwater islands, existing dwelling units of local communities may be repaired or reconstructed, but no new construction shall be permitted.
Beyond 50 m from the HTL on the landward side of backwater islands, dwelling units of local communities may be constructed with the prior permission of the gramapanchayat.
Foreshore facilities such as fishing jetty, fish drying yards, net mending yard, fishing processing by traditional methods, boat building yards, ice plant, boat repairs and the like, may be taken up within 50 m width from High Tide Line of backwater islands,” the plan states.