KOCHI: The recently published Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Ernakulam district by the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) brings a major portion of the city’s urban areas under new Costal Regulation Zone norms, putting Kochi and its suburbs under scrutiny again.
The 130-page document published on the agency’s website on April 22 awaited feedback from public and local bodies for two weeks, while many stakeholders had no clear idea about its implications.
“We expected exemptions in coastal regulations with the publication of the report based on the 2011 census. The draft copy charted stringent restrictions in areas within 200 metre of the high-tide line (HTL) along the seafront and 50 metre from backwaters.
However, a majority of the affected families are completely unaware of the processes. When our entire state is reeling under Covid crisis, the officials should take sufficient time and resources to assess the impact of the renewed CRZ norms,” said Dalfin T A, convenor of the West Kochi Theeradesha Samrakshana Samithi.
He also pointed out that several backwater islets of Kochi will also be impacted by the CZMP. “As per an ordinance by the Union government, the limit has been reduced to 20 metres for islets. But the CZMP poses several doubts over these regulations. With the document expected to impact the future development of several panchayats, KCZMA should allocate more time to study the amendments in detail,” he said.
Final draft after public consultation
However, KCZMA officials have clarified that another version of CZMP will be published later for public hearing.
"The current version of the CZMP draft is aimed at getting a response from various stakeholders like district committees, local bodies, town planning, fisheries, etc. We will publish another draft for the public hearing by notifying all major newspapers. The draft will be made available in the district collectorates, town planning offices and the concerned local bodies. We are planning to publish the draft by July," said the official.
Coastal Village such as Kuzhuppilly, Pallipuram, Kuzhupilly, Njarakkal, Elankunnappuzha are classified into CRZ III A based on the guideline of CZMP preparation as per CRZ Notification 2019. In such villages, No Development Zone (NDZ) has been redrawn as 50 meters from the HTL against 200 meters stipulated in the previous CRZ Notification, 2011
20meter CRZ limit landward of HTL has been drawn for backwater islands instead of 50 m line in the approved CZMP prepared as per CRZ Notification 2011
1074 islands are listed as per the CRZ 2019 Notification ranging in area from 0.004 to 3367.52 ha.
As per CRZ Notification 2019, 50m NDZ/CRZ limit (for tidal water bodies) has been demarcated instead of 100m in the previous notification, however retained width of the creek less than 50m
Ernakulam's CRZ status - Factfile
Length of HTL along the seacoast 46.33 km
Length of HTL along with the inland water bodies 1965.45 km
Archeological/historical sites: 0.38 hectres
Turtle nesting sites: NIL
Mangrove extent: 530.18 hectres
Mangrove buffer: 1,264.38 hectres
Intertidal zone (CRZ-IB): 1,930.71hectres
Intertidal zone (CRZ-IB) Pokkali: 4,752.47 hectres
CRZ-II along the Seacoast: 277.83 hectres
CRZ-II along the inland water bodies: 526.42 hectres
No Development Zone in CRZ-III along Seacoast: 418.73 hectres
No Development Zone in CRZ-III along water bodes: 524.09 hectres
CRZ-IIIA along the coast between 50-500 meters: 238.11 hectres
CRZ-IIIB along the coast between 200-500 meters: 60.63 hectres
No Development Zone in the 1078 islands demarcated: 2180.01 hectres
CRZ-IVB category: 9806.93 hectres
Local Bodies under CRZ (CZMP 2019)
In total, 32 local bodies are covered under the CRZ, of which 25 are Grama Panchayaths and 4 are municipal council areas.
Corporation (1): Kochi
Municipalities (6) : Paravur, Eloor, Thrikkakara, Kalamassery, Thrippunithura, Maradu
Grama Panchayats (25): Vadakkekara, Chendamangalam, Puthenvelikara, Chittattukara, Pallipuram, Kunnukara, Karumalloor, Kottuvally, Ezhikkara, Kuzhappilly, Edavanakkad, Alangad, Nayarambalam, Varapuzha, Kadungallur, Kadamakkudy, Njarakkal, Cheranallur, Elamkunnapuzha, Mulavukad, Chellanam, Kumbalam, Kumbalangy, Udayamperoor, Amballur