Thane : The stringent CRZ regulations have made redevelopment of the many old settlements and fisherfolk communities (Koliwadas) along Thane’s coast impossible. But, residents of these dangerous buildings that come under the CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) regulations now have a new hope. State PWD minister Eknath Shinde has asked the Thane civic body to send a proposal to the Centre to relax CRZ norms in the area to pave the way for redevelopment of these buildings. Shinde has promised to discuss the issue with the central environment ministry to speed up the process.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest issued CRZ regulations in 1991 to protect the coastal regions and prevent any development activity from taking place near the creeks. These regulations were amended in 2011, wherein the redevelopment of fisherfolk communities and old settlements in CRZ II and III was allowed. This notification was implemented in Mumbai, but the redevelopment issue of Thane CRZ remained unresolved.
Shinde, in a meeting held with the Thane Municipal Commissioner and representatives from the state environment department, said, “The condition of the Koliwadas categorised under the CRZ region in various parts of Thane is pathetic. The buildings and structures in these areas are crumbling. The TMC should send a proposal to the central government regarding easing the CRZ norms in par with those in Mumbai.”
Shinde claimed that he had tabled a calling attention motion in the monsoon session of 2014, when the environment minister of state had claimed that the issue would be resolved in two months.
The corporation had tabled a proposal last year in the general body meeting to ease the norms of those affected under CRZ. The proposal was sent to the state after the approval of the general body.
In Thane district, the areas around Kopri, Kolshet, Waghbil and Mahagiri are the ones affected in the CRZ regulation.
ABOUT COASTAL REGULATION ZONE NORMS
- The Environment Ministry issued a notification in 1991 regulating development along coastal areas, stating that coastal land up to 500m from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations, is called the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). These zones were divided into four categories depending on their distance from coast and tide levels.
- In 2011, the notification was modified. The dwelling units of the traditional coastal communities including fisherfolk, tribals could be regularised subject to they not being used for any commercial activity or being sold or transferred to non-traditional coastal communities.
- The notification gave construction permissions for CRZ II areas towards the landward side as well as redevelopment of authorised structures, but within the permitted FSI limit.