Fisherfolk’s body rejects notification on changes to coastal regulation law
Though the new CRZ notification superseded the CRZ 2011 notification, the government has made few changes to favour the project approved under CRZ 2011 notification and keep it relevant to an extent.
NEW DELHI: Fisherfolk communities have demanded the rollback of recent notifications to amend the coastal Regulation Zone.
These new amendments compromise the coastal community livelihoods, degrade natural resources, and promote unabated industrial and developmental activity, it is alleged. the national platform for Small Scale Fish Workers (NPSSFW) has rejected the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Amendment notification dated July 3, 2023, saying the amendment is “arbitrary and legally untenable”.
The CRZ regulation governs industrial and commercial activities close to the coastline to protect the fragile ecosystem near the sea. It requires creating a balance between development and conservation of the coastal environment.
Though the new CRZ notification superseded the CRZ 2011 notification, the government has made some changes to favour the project approved under CRZ 2011 notification and keep it relevant to some extent. But experts see it as a dubious approach in this amendment.
“The government brought new notification to supersede 2011 but it bent on to favour projects, which approved under CRZ 2011 notification and kept the previous notification alive in some cases,” said NPSSFW convener Pradip Chatterjee. According to NPSSFW, the new notification is intended to provide environmental clearance to projects that can be detrimental to the coastal ecosystem and consequently impact fisher folk communities whose livelihood depends on it.
Experts said the new notification has provisions of ‘transfer’ and ‘splitting’ of environment clearances which open ample space for manipulation and misuse. Another controversial provision added to the notification is increasing the environment clearance project validity from seven to eleven years, including construction activities and operation commencement.
“The most ominous fallout is that the project’s activities would not be monitored whether the implementation of the project is complying with the conditions stipulated in clearance certificates,” said Pardip Chatterjee.