Coastal Regulation Zone
CAG report on CRZ implementation in coastal Karnataka
- India has a coastline of 7,516 km of which 5,422 km is in the mainland. The CRZ regulations were brought to protect the coastal ecology which includes coastal waters, mangroves, coral reef, sea grass, mud flats, estuaries, backwaters, lagoons and sand dunes.
- The audit watchdog (CAG) not only identified flaws in CRZ implementation but found that in several cases, the regulatory bodies overlooked their own norms. “Instances were observed where the EAC( Expert appraisal committee) granted clearances, though domain experts were not present during the project deliberations,” it noted.
- Discharge of untreated sewage water directly into the sea in 11 out of 12 cities in coastal Karnataka is another violation highlighted in the report.
- Out of the 12 Urban Local Bodies, only Mangalore City Corporation had a sewage network to cover 100 per cent of its area with four treatment plants. The City Municipal Council of Udupi, Karwar and Bhatkal had a partial sewerage network that catered to only 25 per cent, 14 per cent and 25 per cent area respectively.
- The remaining eight cities – Ullal, Mulki, Kundapura, Saligrama, Honnaver, Kumta and Ankola depend on either individual septic tanks or soak-pits to treat sewage. More than 7.5 million liters of untreated sewage water is discharged daily into the sea, the CAG noted, quoting a Karnataka State Pollution Control Board report.
- Two other Karnataka-specific violations are on the construction of four additional berths in New Mangalore port and a petroleum product storage terminal at Karwar.
CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone)
- Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) issued notification in 1991, for regulation of activities in the coastal area.
- Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) is the area up to 500m from the high-tide line and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations.
- CRZ Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea.
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the 2019 Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, replacing the existing CRZ norms of 2011.
- The new CRZ norms aim to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles.
Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZ) 1991 notification gave four fold classifications of coastal areas.
- CRZ-1: These are ecologically sensitive areas as they help in maintaining the ecosystem of the coast. They lie between low and high tide lines. Exploration of natural gas and extraction of salt are permitted
- CRZ-2: These areas are urban areas located in the coastal areas. Now under new coastal zone regulations 2018, the floor space index norms have been de-freezed.
- CRZ-3: rural and urban localities which fall outside the 1 and 2. Only certain activities related to agriculture even some public facilities are allowed in this zone
- CRZ-4: this lies in the aquatic area up to territorial limits. Fishing and allied activities are permitted in this zone. Solid waste should be let off in this zone. This zone has been changed from 1991 notification, which covered coastal stretches in islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep
Changes Brought about by CRZ Regulations 2019
- States found the 1991 Rules to be extremely restrictive. They complained that if applied strictly, the Rules would not allow simple things like building decent homes for people living close to the coast, and carrying out basic developmental works 2019 CRZ notification brought following changes:
- Two separate categories for CRZ-III (Rural) areas:
- CRZ-III A: The A category of CRZ-III areas are densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometer as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) as against 200 meters from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.
- CRZ-III B – The B category of CRZ-III rural areas have population density of below 2161 per square kilometer as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone of 200 meters from the HTL.
- No-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.
- The government has decided to de-freeze the Floor Space Index and permit FSI for construction projects to do away with CRZ 2011 notification
- Tourism infrastructure like shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities, etc. permitted in coastal areas: The new norms permit temporary tourism facilities such in Beaches.
- To address pollution in Coastal areas, the treatment facilities have been made permissible in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.
Functions and Power of CAG
- CAG derives its audit mandate from different sources like–
- Constitution (Articles 148 to 151)
- The Comptroller and Auditor General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971
- Important Judgments
- Instructions of Government of India
- Regulations on Audit & Accounts-2007
- CAG audits the accounts related to all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, Consolidated Fund of each state and UT’s having a legislative assembly.
- He audits all expenditure from the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India as well as the Contingency Fund and Public Account of each state.
- He audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and the state governments.
- He audits the receipts and expenditure of all bodies and authorities substantially financed from the Central or State revenues; government companies; other corporations and bodies, when so required by related laws.
- He audits the accounts of any other authority when requested by the President or Governor e.g. Local bodies.
- He advises the President with regard to the prescription of the form in which the accounts of the Centre and States shall be kept.
- He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of the Centre to the President, who shall, in turn, place them before both the houses of Parliament.
- He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of a State to the Governor, who shall, in turn, place them before the state legislature.
CAG also acts as a guide, friend and philosopher of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.