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Coastal Regulation Zone

Coastal Regulation Zone


  • GS 3|| Environment || Governance: India || Coastal Area Regulations

Why in News?

  • The Union Cabinet has cleared the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2018.
  • It is now debated for its adverse impacts on local ecology.


  • Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 1991
  • Issued by MoEF under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • Mandate: Take measures to protect and conserve our coastal environment.
  • Shortcomings of CRZ Notification 1991
  • Uniform regulations for the entire Indian coastline without taking into account the diversity in terms of biodiversity, demographic patterns, natural resources, etc.
  • 1991 Notification laid no clear procedure for obtaining CRZ clearance.
  • Post clearance monitoring and enforcement mechanism was not laid out.
  • Measures/rules to check pollution emanating from land based activities were not included.
  • Caused hardships to traditional communities living in ecologically sensitive coastal stretches (fishermen, slum dwellers, etc.)
  • Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2011
  • Many amendments were made to CRZ notification 1991 and all these amendments were consolidated in the CRZ Notification 2011.
  • The 2011 Notification takes into account and address all the above mentioned issues.
  • Objectives Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2011
  • To conserve and protect coastal stretches;
  • To ensure livelihood security to the fishing & local communities living in the coastal areas;
  • To promote development in a sustainable manner based on scientific principles, taking into account natural hazards and sea level rise.

In the notification 2018

  • The High Tide Line (HTL) has been demarcated by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) and shall be reckoned as a universal standard for the HTL for all regulatory purposes.
  • Hazard line mapping has also been carried out by Survey of India. The Hazard Line has, however, been delinked from the CRZ regulatory regime and shall be used only as a tool for Disaster Management and planning of adaptive and mitigation measures.
  • CRZ limits on land along the tidal influenced water bodies has been proposed to be reduced from 100 meters or the width of the creek, whichever is less, to 50 meters or the width of the creek, whichever is less.
  • A No Development Zone (NDZ) of 20 meters has been proposed to be stipulated for all Islands close to the main land coast and for all Backwater Islands in the main land.
  • Projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I & IV areas, shall be dealt with for CRZ
  • clearance by the MoEF&CC. For all other project activities located in CRZ-II/III areas, CRZ clearance shall be considered at the level of the CZMA.
  • As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, for CRZ-II areas, Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) had been frozen at 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels. In the Draft CRZ, 2018 Notification, it has been proposed to de-freeze the same and permit FSI for construction projects, as prevailing on the date of the new Notification.
  • Temporary tourism facilities are also proposed to be permissible in the No Development Zone (NDZ) of the CRZ-III areas.
  • Regulated limestone mining is proposed to be permitted, subject to strict Environmental safeguards, in areas adequately above the height of HTL


  • Economic Growth: The notification will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions Economic Growth: The proposed CRZ Notification, 2018 will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also conserving the coastal regions.
  • Boost to Tourism and Employment: It will result in the significant employment generation and in better living standard and add value to the economy of India.
  • Boost to Conservation Efforts: The new notification is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerability

Way forward

  • The new draft CRZ notification has major recommendations that will boost tourism development in coastal areas of the country, which remains untapped due to the stringent regulatory framework.
  • The government says that the new rules will benefit coastal communities. But fears persist that although the changes are being packaged as pro-poor and pro-tourism, the concerns of the latter will override those of communities.

Additional Info-Coastal Regulation Zones

  • Coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers, and backwaters were declared as CRZs under coastal zone regulation notification in 1991.
  • CRZs have been classified into 4 zones for the purpose of regulation:
  • CRZ-I: includes ecologically sensitive areas, where no construction is allowed except activities for atomic power plants, defense.
  • CRZ-II: includes designated urban areas that are substantially built up. Construction activities are allowed on the landward side only.
  • CRZ-III: includes relatively undisturbed areas, mainly rural areas. No new construction of buildings allowed in this zone except repairing of the existing ones. However, constructions of dwelling units in the plot area lying between 200-500m of the high tide line is allowed.
  • CRZ-IV: includes the water area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 nautical miles seaward. Except for fishing and related activities, all actions impugning on the sea and tidal water will be regulated in this zone.

Mains Question

  • Examine your views on  India’s efforts for marine environment conservation and various initiatives related to it.