Expert panels scrutinising draft Coastal Zone Management Plan

The plan, covering nine coastal districts, being circulated to elicit views from stakeholder agencies

As the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Kerala, which will define development activities along the coastal belt, is being finalised, various stakeholder agencies are assessing the impact of the draft plan.

While the Fisheries Department has constituted an expert committee to assess the impact of the proposal on the sector, the Tourism Department has engaged a consultant to list its concerns.

The draft CZMP, which covers nine coastal districts and Kottayam, is being circulated to elicit views from stakeholder agencies.

The Fisheries Department too has constituted an expert committee by including 10 members. The department, while noting that fisherfolk and fish farmers are the major stakeholders in the coastal regulation zone area, feels that inputs for housing and development activities for the sustainable development of coastal areas need to be incorporated in the CZMP. It also plans to come out with an Integrated Fisheries Development Plan, which can be incorporated into the CZMP.

The 10-member committee is headed by K.V. Thomas, former head of the Coastal Processes Division of the National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS).

The Environment Department, on its part, has constituted a three-member committee consisting of the Additional Chief Secretary, environmental consultant P.Z. Thomas, and lawyer P. B. Sahasranamam to study the draft plan.

Meanwhile, a section of fishermen has opposed the nomination of members to the committee. Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi (TUCI) State secretary Charles George complained that the committee had been constituted to sabotage the implementation of the CZMP. The organisation demanded that the committee be scrapped.

The suggestions put forward by various agencies will be discussed at the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority meeting and forwarded to the NCESS for its consideration. The public will get an opportunity to comment on the draft proposal and suggest modifications during public hearings.

The State will be able to avail the benefits of the 2019 CRZ notification only if the CZMP is approved and notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Source: Read Full Article