Coastal Management Zone
In a major victory for the Maharashtra government, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has ruled that the Union ministry of environment will have to involve Maharashtra in every step while drawing the setback line (SBL) near the coast beyond which no construction will be allowed. The all important SBL, almost akin to a line-of-control (LoC) for construction activities, will soon come into force as Mumbai falls under the proposed Coastal Management Zone (CMZ). At present, going by the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), no development is allowed in 202.59 sq-km area of the city—almost half the distance. Besides, nothing is allowed to build inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is spread over 6 sqkm. In simple terms, currently, half the land in Mumbai falls under the no-development clause as identified by CRZ. However, the CRZ will soon be replaced by the CMZ which, in turn, will be guided by the SBL and will allow more space for constructions. Within a fortnight, work will start to demarcate the SBL for the city.During a meet of chief secretaries from coastal states last week, PM’s secretary P S Nair ruled that the state must be fully involved in deciding the setback line. “The state will be a partner in the entire exercise of deciding the SBL,’’ state officials quoted Nair having told the Union ministries.Thanks to the PMO’s intervention, the setback line will now be jointly decided by the Centre and the state and that will give Maharashtra the chance to keep maximum area on the land-ward side of the mark, allowing optimum development. The state feared that the Centre, acting alone, may put large chunk of land on the sea-side, narrowing down the chances of constructions in the city.The state had claimed that the parameters identified to decide the setback line were ambiguous and could seriously affect development in Mumbai. Maharashtra pointed out that SBL determinants, such as elevation of land near coast, sea-level trends (global warming) and erosion of land due to natural catastrophe could not be decided by Centre alone, without consulting the state and the civic body. Nair, apparently, was convinced.
Labels: CMZ SBL CRZ Maharashtra