Coastal Zone Management Plan for five districts approved

In a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra government on Thursday approved the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for five districts — Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. The plan will now be sent to the Centre for final approval.

According to the new Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules, the restriction on development in creek, river and stream areas has been reduced from 100 metre to 50 metre from the high tide line in a bid to boost development to promote tourism as well as benefit the locals.

“After the approval from the state government, it will be sent to the Union ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,” said Secretary (Environment) Pravin Darade.

Chennai’s National Center for Sustainable Coastal Management has mapped the high and low tide lines in coastal areas based on which the draft was prepared keeping in mind suggestions and objections. The CRZ has been divided into four categories: ecologically sensitive areas, developed areas, rural areas and water areas. CZMP for Mumbai has already been approved in 2021.

As per the CZMP, local bodies can allow construction of residential units up to 300 square metre. Besides, old houses can be regularised. The government expects that with restriction on development reduced to 50 meters from 100 meters, developmental activities for locals, especially for fisherfolk, can be undertaken. Besides, temporary construction of shacks, toilets, and sitting arrangements can now be permitted under the approved CZMP.

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