Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 10, 2022, 7:20

In India, the coastal areas which get tides up to 500 m from the high tide line (HTL) and the land between the low tide line (LTL) and the high tide line were declared a Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] in 1991 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

While the CRZ Rules are made by the Central Government, their execution is to be ensured by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.

Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] Objectives

The main objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] include:

  • Conservation of the coastal zones.
  • To promote sustainable development in coastal regions considering the natural hazards and rise in sea level.
  • To ensure the security of livelihood of the local communities who reside in the coastal areas.

Importance of Having Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ]

  • It is necessary to protect ecologically sensitive regions such as coral reefs which act as a shield against tsunamis and cyclones.
  • By keeping the coastal zones safe, the lives of coastal communities like fishing communities can be improved.
  • These measures are essential to counter the negative impacts of climate change and global warming.
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Classifications of Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ]

CRZ-I - These are ecologically sensitive areas such as mangroves, coral reefs, etc.

  • Apart from projects related to the Department of Atomic Energy and the construction of trans-harbour sea links and roads without affecting the tidal flow of water, no new construction shall be allowed in CRZ-1.

CRZ-II - These include areas that are developed up to the shoreline and that fall within the municipal limits; They include villages and towns that are already established.

  • On the landward side of the hazardous line, construction of buildings is permitted. Activities such as desalination plants are also allowed.

CRZ-III - Areas which do not fall within CRZ-I or CRZ-II and are relatively undisturbed form CRZ-III

  • Between 0-200 metres from the High Tide Line, no construction is permitted. Certain activities relating to projects of the Department of Atomic Energy, agriculture, forestry and certain public facilities are allowed in this zone.

  • Between 200-500 metres from the High Tide Line, for those who have permission under the 0-200 metres zone, construction of houses for regional communities and tourism is permissible.

CRZ-IV - The aquatic region from the LTL to the territorial limits is considered to be CRZ-IV and includes the tidal water influenced area.

  • Fishing by local communities is permitted.
  • Untreated liquid waste or solid waste should not be dumped in this region.

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Shailesh Nayak Committee Report on Coastal Regulation Zone

  • This six-member committee was formed in June 2014, and they submitted their report in January 2015 to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEF&CC).
  • The report recommended relaxation of the terms of the CRZ 2011 notification to boost tourism, real estate and port construction sectors.
  • It suggested that except for the specific activities that require an environmental clearance, all other activities should be controlled by the state and local planning bodies instead of the Central Government.
  • Based on the report submitted by this committee, the CRZ 2018 notifications were issued.
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FAQs on Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ]

Q1. What are Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] in India?

India has a coastal line that stretches about 7500 km, and the areas along this stretch are known as Coastal Regulation Zones. Any development activities in these areas are regulated by the Indian Government.

Q2. Why have Coastal Regulation Zones been in the news recently?

The Supreme Court ordered the demolition of the four high rise luxury apartments in Kochi as they violated the Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] notifications. It also ordered the demolition of 59 villas constructed in contravention of the Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] notifications in the Vembanad backwaters of Kerala.

Q3. What are the new reforms under the Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2018 & 2019?

Under the Coastal Regulation Zone [CRZ] notification 2018 & 2019, No Development Zones (NDZ) were reduced, and two new CRZ Categories have been stipulated: CRZ IIIA and CRZ IIIB.

Q4. What is the objective of Coastal Regulation Zones?

The Coastal Regulation Zones aim to protect the coastal stretch to ensure the security of livelihood for the local communities living in that region. It also seeks to promote sustainable development by taking into account the natural hazards.