CRZ, 2010 fails to protect coasts; rights of fishers
A NEW notification proposed to regulate India’s coasts has no takers. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has proposed the pre-draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2010 in place of the CRZ notification of 1991 and circulated the document in April. Leaders of fishing communities, non-profits and activists who met in Chennai in mid- May rejected the document.
“The pre-draft CRZ, 2010 will neither protect the coasts nor the fishing communities,” said V Vivekanandan, advisor to the South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies. He said the fishers’ forum has sent a detailed critique of the document to the ministry (see www.downtoearth.org.in).
The proposed notification is based on the recommendations of an expert committee and public consultations held in coastal states (see ‘Backdoor democracy’, Down To Earth, May 31, 2010). The fishers alleged the ministry selectively followed the recommendations in the report, Final Frontier, and ignored concerns of fishers raised during public consultations. “We had demanded that the 1991 notification, without the 25 subsequent amendments, should be the basis for the new notification. But the provisions diluting the original notification remain in the new draft,” said Rambhau Patil of the National Fishworkers’ Forum.
During the Chennai meeting the fishers and activists also discussed the recent draft Island Protection Zone (IPZ) notification that gives separate status to the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadweep. The National Coastal Protection Campaign, a network of fishworkers’ associations and non-profits, said the new proposal will weaken the protection currently provided to the two union territories by the CRZ.
Half measure solutions
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.