Coastal Zone Regulation (CRZ) Approvals

The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) was established by the Central Government to guarantee livelihood stability for fishing communities and other local populations living in coastal areas, as well as to conserve and safeguard coastal stretches, their distinctive ecosystem, and marine area.

Purpose of CRZ

The Coastal Regulation Zone covers the whole Indian coastline, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands. It broadly covers  the tidal-influenced coastal sections of oceans, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers, and backwaters up to the designated distance into the land from the High Tide Line (HTL).

The CRZ Notification was created with three key goals in mind:

  • To achieve a balance between development needs and natural resource protection,
  • To prohibit and/or regulate activities that are harmful to both coastal communities and the environment,
  • To plan for long-term management, so that millions of people’s livelihoods are protected and the coastal environment is preserved for future generations.

CRZ Notification

  • The coastal regulatory Zone extends from the high tide line to 500 metres on the landward side.
  • The space between the low and high tide lines.
  • For rivers, creeks, and backwaters, the distance from the high tide level must apply to both sides and cannot be less than 100 metres or the width of the creek, river, or backwater, whichever is less

CRZ Classification

Coastal lengths within 500m of the landward side’s high tide line are divided into four groups.

  • CRZ I– Ecologically sensitive regions (such as mangroves, coral reefs, biosphere reserves, and so on) and geomorphological characteristics that contribute to the coast’s integrity.
  • CRZ-II– Developed land areas up to or near the shoreline, within the existing municipal limits, or in other existing legally designated urban areas, that are substantially built-up with a ratio of built-up plots to total plots of more than 50% and have been provided with drainage and approach roads, as well as other infrastructural facilities such as water supply, sewerage mains, etc
  • CRZ-III– Land areas that are relatively undisturbed (viz. rural areas, etc.) and those which do not fall under CRZ-II, shall constitute CRZ–III
  • CRZ-IV– The water area and seabed area between the Low Tide Line and twelve nautical miles on the seaward side, and the water area and seabed area between the LTL at the bank of the tidal influenced water body and the LTL on the opposite side of the bank, extending from the mouth of the water body at the sea up to the influence of tide, i.e., salinity of five parts per thousand (ppt) during the driest season

Importance of Regulation of Coastal Zones

  • Conservation of environmentally sensitive areas such as mangroves and coral reefs, which function as a barrier against tsunami and cyclones.
  • Improving the lifestyles of coastal populations such as fishing communities
  • Resilient strategies for minimizing the effects of climate change and high-intensity cyclones
  • To strike a balance between development and coastal environmental conservation.

Procedure for Clearances under CRZ 2011

The 2011 Notification outlines a precise approach for getting project permission.

  • Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report;
  • Disaster Management Report and Risk Management Report
  • A CRZ map that indicates HTL and LTL;
  • No Objection Certificate from the relevant Pollution Control Boards;
  • The clearance accorded to the projects shall be valid for a period of five years.