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Home > Know Your Rights > Right of Coastal dwellers under CRZ
FAQ's | | Legal Frameworks


Q1.  What is CRZ?

A1.  CRZ stands for Coastal Regulation Zone. It is a notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests of Government of India to safeguard the rights of the people living in coastal areas as about 25 percent of India’s population lives in coastal areas.


Q2.  What are the objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification?

A2.  The main objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification are -

  • To ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in the coastal areas.
  • To conserve and protect coastal stretches.
  • To promote development in coastal regions based on scientific principles.
  • To protect the coastal areas by taking into account the dangers of natural hazards and sea level rise due to global warming.


Q3.  What rights have been given to coastal dwellers under the CRZ?

A3.  Under the CRZ, the coastal dwellers including fishermen have been given special attention. The notification aims at protecting the interests of the fishermen community by conserving marine life. The coastal dwellers have the right to exclusive use of the coastal land as CRZ bans all unauthorized construction in the coastal areas. It also imposes a ban on sand mining, discharge of waste from ships, construction like groynes, breakwaters, etc. including reclamation which have serious impacts on fishing and allied activities. This gives the coastal people far more rights over the coastal lands which they have inhabited for years.


Q4.  Is there any classification of the coastal areas under CRZ notification ?

A4.  CRZNotification classified coastal regions into four zones.

1.  CRZ-I (ecological sensitive), such as, Mangroves, Coral reefs, Sand dunes, Turtle Nesting grounds.

2.  CRZ-II (built-up area), such as the coastal cities and town falling with a municipality.

3.  CRZ-III (Rural area) that are not well developed and are isolated.

4.  And CRZ-IV (water area) of tidal waves.


Q5.  What activities are not permissible in coastal areas under the notification?

A5.  CRZ notification specifically bans any new construction in any of the four zones to maintain their present form. However, certain government projects like laying pipelines, exploration of natural gas and projects relating to atomic energy are permitted, construction of hospitals and schools for the benefit of the local people. No untreated sewage, effluents or solid waste can be let off or dumped in these areas.


Q6.  I am a fisherman from a small coastal town. Is there any restriction imposed on fishing in CRZ to protect marine life?

A6.  CRZ notification seeks to protect the interests of the fisher folks community by creating conditions that can favour fishing and help improve their livelihood. No restrictions have being imposed on any fishing activities and allied activities of the traditional fishing communities under CRZ. It seeks to regulate activities in the marine and coastal waters such as dredging, sand mining, discharge of waste from ships,  which have serious impacts on fishing and allied activities and conserve the marine biodiversity to create larger fishing areas for the benefit of fishermen. The notification ensures that  local communities including fishermen communities have a say in the preparation of the coastal development plans. It also allows infrastructural facilities for the local fishing communities to be constructed in coastal areas. Reconstruction, repair works of dwelling units of local communities including fisheries in accordance with local Town and Country Planning Regulations has been made permissible.


Q7.  What are the provisions in CRZ notification for the prevention of pollution in coastal areas?

A7.  The CRZ notification has certain provisions to prevent pollution of coastal areas in order to improve the living conditions of coastal dwellers. The disposal of wastes and effluents into coastal waters is a prohibited activity. All coastal states are required to ensure that the practice of discharging untreated waste and effluents in sea is phased out within two years. Dumping of solid waste is also prohibited.

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