Published: Saturday 15 December 2001

A division bench of the Kerala High Court dismissed a batch of writ petitions which challenged the inclusion of rivers and backwaters in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification.

The petitioners, hailing from Vypeen Island, had contended that in the draft CRZ Notification of December 15, 1990, rivers and backwaters were excluded and hence, their inclusion in the final notification of February 20, 1991, without hearing the affected persons, was illegal. However, the court said CRZ is applicable to all water bodies affected by tidal waters. It added that the word estuary in the draft notification included rivers affected by tidal action. Therefore, mention of rivers in the final notification was entirely legal. The bench said, "We are not satisfied that there is justification either in striking down a part of the CRZ map or the present notification."

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