The National Green Tribunal has stated that no construction activity and regularising would be permitted in coastal districts of the state till the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) maps are submitted.
The order was passed by the western zone bench of Justice UD Salvi and expert member Ajay Deshpande based on an application by NGO Vanashakti.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority which is the authority in charge of the preparing and releasing the CZMP maps, which were to be released in 2013 under the Coastal Regulation Zone notification of 2011, had sought extensions thrice, said advocate Zaman Ali, who represents Vanashakti.
”The last extension to publish the plan expired on January 31. We had sought information about the progress made on its publication. The NGT has ordered that no development activity or regularising or construction can be permitted till the CZMP maps are released,” Ali said.
In the previous hearing on January 27, the MCZMA had told the NGT that the maps were prepared by the Institute of Remote Sensing in Chennai and Centre for Earth Science and Studies in Kerala for Mumbai, Raigad, Thane, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts. The NGT had sought an explanation for non-preparation of the maps in the last hearing. ”The maps form the heart and soul of the coastal zone rules in the state since they would lay out details about which areas fall under CRZ regulations, its categories and other points significant when seeking and giving permission. The maps are significant to check the unrestricted development of the coast,” Ali said.
Once the maps are released, they will be open to public consultation.