Obtaining a CRZ Clearance during EC is a legal requirement mandated by the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011. Adhering to this regulation demonstrates compliance with environmental laws and regulations, promoting responsible and accountable development practices. It ensures that projects operating in coastal areas adhere to the prescribed coastal guidelines, restrictions, and conditions specified under the CRZ Notification, contributing to effective coastal zone management and enforcement of environmental regulations. CRZ clearance ensures the protection and conservation of coastal ecosystems, which are highly vulnerable to degradation and damage due to human activities. It helps regulate development activities within the coastal areas, preserving the fragile coastal environment, including mangroves, dunes, marine habitats, and sensitive coastal landforms. By obtaining CRZ clearance, projects undergo scrutiny to minimize adverse impacts on coastal ecosystems, promoting sustainable development practices.
Process of CRZ Clearance during EC
The process for obtaining clearance for permissible activities, according to the CRZ Notification, 2011, is as follows-
- Project proponents must submit an application on PARIVESH along with the following documents to the relevant State or Union Territory Coastal Zone Management Authority to seek prior clearance under the CRZ Notification, 2011/IPZ Notification, 2011:
- Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, including marine and terrestrial components
- Comprehensive EIA with cumulative studies for projects located in stretches classified as low and medium eroding zones by the Ministry, based on scientific studies and in consultation with the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations
- Disaster Management Report, Risk Assessment Report, and Management Plan
- CRZ map indicating High Tide Line (HTL) and Low Tide Line (LTL) marked by an authorized agency in a 1:4000 scale
- The CRZ map that covers a 7 km radius around the project site
- The CRZ map indicating CRZ-I, II, III, and IV areas, including other notified ecologically sensitive areas
- No Objection Certificate from the concerned State Pollution Control Boards or Union Territory Pollution Control Committees for projects involving the discharge of effluents, solid wastes, sewage, etc.
- The State/U.T. Coastal Zone Management Authority shall forward its recommendation on permissible activities per the CRZ Notification, 2011/IPZ Notification, 2011, to the relevant authorities.
- Suppose the Coastal Zone Management Authority wishes to consider an activity not explicitly mentioned in the notification or not permissible. In that case, detailed justification and recommendations should be forwarded to the Ministry for consideration.
- Suppose the Coastal Zone Management Authorities are not operational due to delays in reconstitution or other reasons. In that case, the responsibility of providing comments and recommendations for CRZ Clearance during EC lies with the Department of Environment in the State Government or Union Territory Administration, following the provisions of the notification.
- Category A projects requiring comments from the CRZ sector should be forwarded with all the statutory documents before the sectoral Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) consider the project. The sectoral EAC will evaluate the project for composite Environmental Clearance (EC) and CRZ clearance based on the comments from the CRZ sector and CZMA recommendations. If the sectoral EAC is the same for the appraisal of projects for EC and CRZ clearance, separate comments from the CRZ sector are unnecessary.
The basic profile for CRZ Clearance during EC is as follows:–
- Name of the proponent
- Name of applicant
- Contact person
- Telephone No.
- Mobile No.
- Fax No.
- Email Address
- Website (if any)
- Pin code
The project profile CRZ Clearance during EC is as follows:–
- Project Name
- Project Sector (Restricted to Coastal Regulation Zone – CRZ)
- Project Cost (In Lakhs)
- Project Location
- The shape of Project Land (Polygon Block, Point, Strip) – Attach Survey of India Toposheet (PDF format only) – Survey of India Toposheet (Scale 1:50,000)
- Site Alternatives under Consideration (If applicable) – Upload site alternatives
- Brief Project Summary – Upload a document of at least one page – A summary of the project (PDF format only)
- Is the project located in any of the following areas – (Ghaziabad (UP), Indore (M.P.), Jharsuguda (Orissa), Ludhiana (Punjab), Panipat (Haryana), Patancheruollaram (A.P.), Singraulli (UP and M.P.), Vapi (Gujarat), None of the above areas)
- Several states where the project will be executed – Main State of the project – Town/Village (Enter the names of multiple towns separated by commas).
- Plot/Survey/Khasra Numbers (Enter the names of multiple Plot/Survey/Khasra numbers separated by commas)
- Project/Activity according to CRZ notification 2011 – If the selected activity is the Construction of memorials/monuments and allied facilities by the concerned State Government in CRZ-IV (A) areas:
- Specify the Area: (If the area is less than 20,000 sqm.)
- Building Structure Area (in square meters)
- Is the project solely for the Construction of a building?
- Building Structure Area (in square meters)
- Project Type
- If Expansion or Modernization is chosen:
- File Number
- Date of Application for TOR
- Date of Issue of TOR
- Upload TOR letter (PDF format only)
- Date of Application for EC/CRZ
- Date of Issue of EC/CRZ
- Upload EC/CRZ letter (PDF format only)
- Existing Capacity/Area, etc.
- Proposed Capacity/Area/Length/Tonnage to be Handled/Command Area/Lease Area/Number of Wells to be Drilled Category of Project (CRZ).
- CRZ Classification of the Area (CRZ-I, CRZ-II, CRZ-III, CRZ-IV)
- Is there any pending litigation against the project? (Yes/No)- If “Yes” is selected, attach the status details (if any) along with the court order(s) provided in this regard.
- Nearest Railway Station
- Distance from the Project Site (in km) to the Nearest Railway Station
- Nearest Airport
- Distance from the Project Site (in km) to the Nearest Airport
- Nearest Town/City/District
- Distance from the Project Site (in km) to the Nearest Town/City/District
- Details of Alternative Sites Examined? (Yes/No)
- If “Yes” is selected, Upload details (Upload PDF format only and attach it as Annexure – Alternative Sites Examined) whether Part of Interlinked Projects? (Yes/No) If “Yes” is selected,
- Whether a separate application for the interlinked project has been submitted? (Yes/No)
- If “Yes” is selected,
- MoEF File Number
- Date of Submission
- If “No” is selected, state the Reason
- Whether the Proposal Involves Approval/Clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980? (Yes/No) If “Yes” is selected,
- Status (In-Principle (Stage-I) Approval Obtained
- Final (Stage-II) Approval Obtained
- Forest Clearance Under Process, Application for Forest Clearance Yet to be Submitted)
- Whether the Proposal Involves Approval/Clearance under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972? (Yes/No) If “Yes” is selected,
- Status (Wildlife Clearance Obtained, Wildlife Clearance Under Process, Application for Wildlife Clearance Yet to be Submitted)
- Whether the Proposal Involves Approval/Clearance under the CRZ Notification, 2011? (Yes/No)
- Whether there is any Government Order/Policy relevant to the site? (Yes/No) If “Yes”,
- Upload Order/Policy (PDF format only, attach as Annexure – Order/Policy)
- Is there any pending litigation against the project and/or land on which the project is proposed to be set up? (Yes/No)
- If “Yes,”
- Name of the Court
- Sub court
- Case Number
- Orders/Directions of the Court, if any, and its relevance to the proposed project.
Effect of Violation of CRZ Rule under different Categories
|S.No||Violation||Penalty due to Violation|
|1||Taking steps to establish the project prior to obtaining consent to establish from the board||Red Category 5 times one-time consent fee for the number of years of violation|
|2||Taking steps without revalidating Consent to Establish of the Board|
|3||Starting production prior to obtaining consent to operate on the board||Orange Category 3 times one-time consent for the number of years of violation|
|Handing over possession before obtaining Consent to Operate and occupancy certificate from local body|
|4||Operating the industry without the valid consent of the board and applying after the lapse of the valid period||Green Category 1 Time one-time consent for the number of years of violation|
CRZ Clearance during EC plays a vital role, particularly for projects located in coastal areas. Obtaining CRZ clearance involves adhering to a specific procedure, including applying to the relevant State Pollution Control Board online. The validity of CRZ clearance extends for five years from the date of issuance, allowing for the commencement of construction and operation activities. Public involvement can occur at various stages of the EC process, ensuring transparency and accountability. CRZ clearance is essential in preserving and protecting coastal ecosystems while facilitating sustainable development in coastal regions. It is recommended to consult with experts for guidance and obtain the CRZ Clearance during EC to avoid penalties due to noncompliance.
The procedure for obtaining CRZ clearance requires applying to the relevant State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) through the online portal of the board. The necessary documents and scrutiny fees must be provided along with the application.
CRZ clearance is valid for five years from the date it is issued. This clearance allows for the commencement of construction and operation activities.
Environmental clearance involves five key stages where public involvement can occur in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. These stages include screening, scoping, impact analysis and mitigation, review of EIA quality, and implementation and follow-up.
Obtaining CRZ clearance involves a systematic process that includes public consultation, stakeholder engagement, and the opportunity for public input. This engagement fosters transparency and inclusiveness in the decision-making process, allowing concerned stakeholders, local communities, and environmental organizations to express their opinions, concerns, and suggestions regarding the proposed project. By incorporating public participation, CRZ clearance ensures that the interests and concerns of various stakeholders are considered, leading to informed and well-balanced decisions that consider environmental, social, and economic aspects.
Industrial units/projects falling under the White Category are not required to go through the Consent Management process to obtain Consent to Establish (CTE) and Consent to Operate (CTO) under the Water Act of 1974, the Air Act of 1981, and any other units that do not fall under the red, orange, and green categories are Exempted from obtaining CRZ Clearance.
Read our Article:Evaluation Of Environment Clearance Process In India