Report of the Committee to Review the Issues relating to the Coastal Regulation Zone, 2011 (Shailesh Nayak Committee)

Sixteen months after a Right to Information (RTI) application was filed, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has disclosed a copy of the “Report of the Committee to Review the Issues relating to the Coastal Regulation Zone, 2011” to Kanchi Kohli, a well-known expert with the Centre for Policy Research (CPR)-Namati Environment Justice Programme. This disclosure came after an order of Information Commissioner Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu on May 13, 2016 which stated that the ministry "cannot invent a new defence or exemption such as ‘the report is under submission’, ‘file is pending consideration’ and ‘unless approved it cannot be given’, etc, which are not available under RTI Act, 2005, such an illegal refusal will amount to denial of information which would invite penal proceedings under Section 20 of RTI Act, 2005.” In a statement CPR-Namati says, “The report has important recommendations Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2011. This notification has framework for conservation of coastal and local livelihoods through clauses land use change, proactive conservation initiatives and mapping of the coastal zone.” Apart from recommending the framework for a new draft CRZ notification, the report proposes a “conservation, protection and management Framework for CRZ-1 areas” that are considered to be ecologically fragile area and with dense mangroves, coral reefs, nesting grounds etc. The report proposes the devolution of powers to state and union territory governments along with local authorities for CRZ II (built up cities and towns), CRZ III (rural areas) and CRZ IV (12 nautical miles into the sea) areas. “These are for activities not covered under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006”, says CPR-Namati statement.

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