Activists oppose new CRZ rules
Bhubaneswar: While the Union government has approved a new set of Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules to facilitate corporate bodies and commercialise the places, locals and environmentalists are up in arms against this move.
Fishermen, activists and environment experts are opposing the new rules which they feel would hamper the local employment. Besides, commercialisation would degrade the authenticity of the zones, they say.
An official of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project said, “The new rules will allow construction of public utilities like sewage treatment plants, link roads, coastal roads, and ecotourism projects in CRZ, one of the most protected and regulated zones. The government is trying its best to brand the move as one that will lead to significant employment generation and rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities.”
Orissa Environment Society secretary Jaya Krushna Panigrahi said, “Our objective should not always be anthropocentric, rather be long-term protection of environment and conservation of natural resources, while protecting the livelihoods of people by sustainable methods.” The effort on the part of the government should be directed to strengthen the wilderness, protect the ‘No Development Zones’ and enforce the regulations stringently, he added.
Rejecting the proposal, environmentalist Biraj Kumar Sahoo said, “This is nothing but government’s initiative to sell off coastal lands and water to corporate houses.”
At present, the stakeholders have been given 60 days to submit their views and objections related to this draft policy.