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India: Environmentalists and fishing communities slam proposed Marine Coastal Regulations by Malavika Vyawahare May 16,2018   |  Source: Hindustan Times

India has a 7500 km-coastline that supports about 30 percent of India’s population. Protection and development of India’s coasts is governed by the Coastal Regulatory Zone notification (CRZ). The government is set to overhaul the rules in a move that experts say will dilute them, proving disastrous for the environment and coastal communities.

“It is a complete sham, They are trying to take away all the safeguard to protect the coasts,” Pondicherry based environmentalist, Probir Banerjee, said. The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) said that they “rejected and condemned” the proposed changes to CRZ 2011. One of the key changes proposed is allowing ‘essential amenities’ like sewage treatment plants, link roads and coastal roads, and ecotourism projects in Coastal Regulation Zone I (CRZ I). The current regulations do not allow this. The big push seems to be for tourism. “There are no hotels there is no other infrastructure so in the last 25 years what has happened that tourism is being diverted to neighboring countries,” Mukul Rohatgi, Attorney General of India said about development along India’s coast, at a conference earlier this year, highlighting the need to review India’s coastal regulations.

The draft rules allow for squeezing the No

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