CRZ norms changed to make way for Shivaji statue in Mumbai

Aesha Datta New Delhi | Updated on February 20, 2015 Published on February 20, 2015

The statue of Chattrapati Shivaji, proposed to be built on the coast of Mumbai, seems to have weighed heavy on the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms as the Centre has tweaked the regulations controlling the dos and don’ts in coastal areas.

The amendments to the Coastal Regulation Zone notification, 2011, which were notified earlier this week, have allowed the “construction of memorials and monuments and allied facilities, only in CRZ-IV (A) areas”.

The norms dictate that no new constructions will be allowed in the CRZ-IV areas within 200 metres of the high-tide line. The proposed Shivaji statue is not only within 200 m of the tide line but is actually offshore in the Arabian Sea.

The amendments, the draft of which had been circulated in December, have allowed memorials and monuments “in exceptional cases” where no other recreational projects are allowed, including shopping and housing complexes, hotels and entertainment activities.

Further, while the law does not permit any alteration of the natural features within this zone for recreational purposed, the amendments allow “utilising the rocks/hills/natural features, only in CRZ-IV (A) areas, for development of memorials/monuments and allied facilities.”

The proposed statue of Shivaji, which had initially been proposed by the Congress-led Maharashtra State Government, had not seen the day of light because it did not get environmental clearance as it falls within the CRZ zone.

Since the BJP is now in power in Maharashsra, the Centre appears to be easing the way for it. The Environment Ministry had given a nod to the project in early December, even before proposing the amendments to the rule.

To stem any possible public dissent, the amendments also have a provision for doing away with public hearing — part of the rules for a new project in the CRZ zone.

According to the amendment, “The Centre may, if it considers necessary so to do, dispense with the requirement of public hearing … if it is satisfied that the project will not involve rehabilitation and resettlement of the public or the project site is located away from human habitation.” .

Published on February 20, 2015

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