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Coastal Regulation Zone:

Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 a notification

was issued in February, 1991, for regulation of activities in the coastal
area by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). As per the
notification, the coastal land up to 500m from the High Tide Line (HTL)
and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and
rivers subject to tidal fluctuations, is called the Coastal Regulation
Zone(CRZ). CRZ along the country has been placed in four categories.
The above notification includes only the inter-tidal zone and land part
of the coastal area and does not include the ocean part. The
notification imposed restriction on the setting up and expansion of
industries or processing plaits etc. in the said CRZ.

Classification of Coastal Regulation Zone:
For regulation of developmental activities, the coastal
stretches within 500m of HTL on the landward side are classified into
four categories, viz..
Category I (CRZ-I)
Category II (CRZ - II)
Category III (CRZ-III)
Category IV (CRZ-IV)

Category I (CRZ -I):

a) Areas that are ecologically sensitive and important, such as national
parks/marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wild habitats,
mangroves, corals/coral reefs, area close to breeding and spawning
grounds of fish and other marine life, areas of outstanding natural
beauty, historical and heritage areas, areas rich in genetic biodiversity,
areas likely to be inundated due to rise in sea level consequent upon
global warming and such areas as may be declared by the authorities.
b) Areas between the Low Tide Line and High Tide Line

No new constructions shall be permitted within 500m of the HTL.

Category II (CRZ -II):
The area that have already been developed up to or the shoreline.
For this purpose, ' Developed Area' is referred to as that area within
the municipal limits or in other legally designated urban areas which is
already substantially built up and which has been provided with
drainage and approach roads and other infrastructural facilities, such as
water supply and sewerage mains.

a) Buildings shall be permitted neither on the seaward side of the
existing road(or roads proposed in the approved Coastal Zone Plane of
the area) nor on the seaward side of the existing and proposed road.
Existing authorized structures shall be subject to the existing local Town
and Country Planning regulations including the existing norms of
b) Reconstruction of the authorized building to be permitted subject
to the existing FSI/FAR norms and without change in the existing use.
c) The design and construction of buildings shall be consistent with the
surrounding landscape and architectural style

Category III (CRZ -III):
Areas that are relatively undisturbed and those which do not belong
to either Category I or II. These will include coastal zone in the areas
(developed and undeveloped) and also areas within Municipal limits or
in other legally designated urban areas which are not substantially built

a) The area up to 200m from the HTL is be earmarked as 'No
Development Zone'. No construction shall be permitted in this zone
except for repairs of existing authorized structures not exceeding
existing FSI, existing plinth area and existing density. However, the
following uses may be permissible in this zone-agriculture, horticulture,
gardens, pastures, parks, play fields, forestry and salt manufacture from
sea water.
b) Development of vacant plots between 200 and 500m of High Tide
Line in designated areas of CRZ-III with prior approval of Ministry of
Environment and forests permitted for construction of hotels/beach
resorts for temporary occupation of tourists / visitors.
c) Construction/ reconstruction of dwelling units between 200m and
500m of the High Tidal Line permitted so long as it is within the ambit
of traditional rights and customary uses such as existing fishing villages
and gothans. Building permission for such Construction/reconstruction
will be subject to the conditions that the total member of dwelling unit
shall not be more than twice the number of existing units; total area
covered on all floors shall not exceed 9 meters and construction shall
not be more than 2 floors (ground floor plus one floor).
d) Reconstruction/alteration of an existing authorized building
permitted subject to (1) to (3) above.

Category IV (CRZ-IV):
Coastal stretches in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakhadweep
and small islands, except those designated as CRZ I, CRZ II and CRZ III.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands:
1. No new construction of buildings shall be permitted within 200m of
2. The buildings between 200m and 500m from the HTL shall not more
than 2 floors, the total area covered on all floors shall not be more than
50% of the plot size and total height of construction shall not exceed
3. The design and construction of buildings shall be consistent with the
surrounding landscape and local architectural style.
4. Corals and sand from the beaches and coastal waters shall not be
used for construction and purposes.
5. Dredging and underwater blasting in and around coral formations
shall not be permitted
6. However, in some of the islands, coastal stretches may also be
classified into categories of CRZ-I or II or III with the prior approval of
the MoEF and in such designated structures.

Activities prohibited within the CRZ
The following activities are declared as prohibited within the CRZ
1. Setting up of new industries and expansion of existing industries,
except those directly related to water front or directly needing
foreshore facilities.
2. Manufacture or handling or disposal of hazardous substances.
3. Setting up and expansion of fish processing units including
warehousing ( excluding hatchery and natural fish drying in permitted
4. Setting up and expansion of units/mechanism for disposal of waste
and effluents into the water course.
5. Discharging of city untreated waters and effluents from industries,
cities or towns and other human settlements.
6. Dumping of city or town waste for the purposes of land filling or
otherwise; the existing practice, if any, shall be phased out within a
reasonable time not exceeding three years from the date of
7. Dumping of ash or any wastes form the date of notification.
8. Land reclamation, building or disturbing the natural course of sea
water with similar observations, except those required for control of
coastal erosion and maintenance or sandbars except tidal regulators,
storm water recharge.
9. Mining of sand, rocks and other substrata materials not available
outside CRZ areas.
10. Harvesting or drawl of groundwater and construction of transfer
within 200m of HTL; in the 200m to 500m zone it shall be permitted
only when done manually through ordinary wells for drinking,
horticulture, agriculture and fisheries.
11. Construction activities in ecologically sensitive areas
12. Any construction between LTL and HTL except facilities for carrying
treated effluents and waste discharges, oil, gas and similar pipelines
and dressing or altering of sand dunes, hills natural features including
landscape changes for beautification, recreational and other such

Study Area:
Tamil Nadu the southern most state in India has a geographical
extent of 1, 30,058 sq.km and has a population of about 5,58,58,946.
The Coastal zone of Tamil Nadu comprises of 13 districts and has a
population of 2,03,77,522. The Coastal Districts are:
Chennai Metropolitan Area
Physiographically the state can be classified in to two broad divisions
The Eastern Coastal Plain
The Hills of the North and East
This state records a maximum temperature of 43C and a minimum
temperature of 18C. The monsoon season is usually during October
to December.

The Coastal Zone, the meeting place of land, sea and air, is a



Study Area


dynamic area with many cyclic and random processes owing to a
variety of resources and habitats. Nearly three quarters of the world
population live near or on the coast, as found to be true in India also,
which has about 7,500 km of coast line with many sprawling and still
growing coastal cities. The coastal regulation is thus a place of hectic
human activity, followed by intense urbanization, resulting in human
interference because of rapid development. The coastal ecosystem is
now highly disturbed and very much threatened, by problems like
pollution, siltation, erosion, flooding, salt water intrusion, storm
surges and ever expanding human settlements. As the only way to
combat these problems and to preserve the coastal zone for future
generation, the concept of coastal zone management has been
developed by many countries around the world. The need for such a
programme in our country is most urgent and highly imperative. To
conserve the coastal ecosystem, the then prime minister Mrs. Indira
Gandhi suggested keeping the coast line free from all developmental
activities within 500 m of the High Tidal line and made an
announcement in the parliament and also advised the Coastal states
to regulate development along the coast on 27th
Coast of Tamil Nadu:
Tamil Nadu coast is nearly 950km long, endowed with a variety
of coastal habitats like coral reef, mangroves, seaweeds and sea grass
bed, salt marshes, sand dunes, ports, fishing harbours and variety of
coastal industries. The increasing population combined with other
factors offer great stress on coastal zone and often leads to
degradation and erosion of the coastal areas. There is an urgent need
to protect this coastal environment while ensuring its continued
production and development. Hence, there arises a need to collect,
analyze and assess the data for the effective monitoring and
management of the coastal area. The GIS is a computer based
information system that is designated to work with data referenced
by spatial or geographic coordinates. GIS has played an extremely
important role in resource management, environment monitoring,
land use/land cover planning activities. GIS provides a system that can
be used for routine analysis of coastal management.

The main objective of this study is to create Coastal Regulation Zone
Information System for Effective Management of the Coastal Zone of
Tamil Nadu.

The Methodology adopted for the creation of Coastal Regulation
Zone Information System has been given in the Figure.1. Coastal
Regulation Zone map on 1:25,000 scale derived from satellite data were
collected from Department of Environment and Forests, Government of
Tamil Nadu. The georeferenced coastal regulation zone maps were
digitized in ARC-INFO GIS. Digitised maps were edited, labeled and a
layout was prepared. The area statistics of different coastal regulation
zone class in the maps were generated and are represented in the
Table below.
Bathymetry maps of Tamil Nadu coastal area on 1:25,000 scale
were prepared using 1975 naval Hydrographic Chart, ARC-INFO GIS
software and Surfer package.
The secondary data has been collected from various departments
and it is given to GIS as an input. Using avenue script the Coastal
Regulation Zone Information System was created.

Table.1: Distribution of Coastal Regulation Zone Classes in Tamil Nadu
line km
line km
170.99 100.71 281.86 1119.48 1613.22 109.89 673.18 917.93

Coastal Regulation Zone of Kanyakumari District

Geographic Location:
This part of the coast starts from north of Vattakkottai and ends with
Kerala State boundary. The coastline runs N-S, S-W and SE-NE
directions. Geographically it is located between 77 2'-7735' E
longitude and 8 7' 30''-815" S latitude.

Fig: Coastal Regulation Zone Information in Tamil Nadu : Kanyakumari

Sand dunes and teri soil occur along the coast and away from the
coast of Kanyakumari. The southern part of the coast are sandy
beaches with beach sands containing heavy minerals on the eastern
and western sides of Kanyakumari. The sand dunes rises up to 67m. The
general relief goes over to 15m above MSL .

This stretch comprises mainly of Archaeans, Quaternary and recent
geological formations. Calcareous shell limestone of sub recent origin is
seen near Kanyakumari. The area between Kanyakumari and
Kuzhithura is mainly covered by thick laterite soil dotted with few rock

Coastal Geomorphology:
The following coastal geomorphic features are observed along the
coast of Kanyakumari district:
Beach ridges
Cliffed coast
Sand Dunes
Beach Terraces
The marine landforms along the Kanyakumari district is restricted to
the width of less than 1km. Due to high relief of inland areas which
represented the slope of the Western Gnats when compared to the
Eastern Coast.

Distribution of Coastal Regulation Zones:
The different coastal regulation zone class of Kanyakumari district
coast and their areal extent are presented in the Table.12.

Table.12. Coastal Regulation Zone classes and their areal extent of
Kanyakumari District.
line km
line km
line km
8.19 6.77 33.29 64.65 101.23 Nil 84.49 80.45

Natural Resources:
Sedimentary formations are traversed in coastal areas, comprising of
sand, clay, sandstone, calcareous sand with shall inclusion, laterite,
lateriate ganges, granite gneisses, charnockite, pegmatite and quartz.
Dug cum bore wells and shallow tube wells are prominent in this area.
The water table has been highly depleted due to extraction of ground
water for irrigation.
Garnet sand, Illmenite sands, salt and Gypsum are the main minerals
resources of this coast . In Manavalakuruchi heavy minerals like
Illmenite, Garnet, Zircon and Rutile occur and are mined.

Human Settlements:
The coastal part of Kanyakumari comprises of five taluks, viz.,
Agasteeswaram, Rajakkamangalam, Kurudancodu, Killiyur and
Munchirai. The population of this district is 16,00,349 out of this
8,03,839 are male, 7,96,510 are female and 11,48,778 are literates.

Kanyakumari is the land end of the Indian Peninsula, where waters of
the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal meet. It is one of the
Piligrim Centre of India.

The unit of M/s. Indian Rare Earths Limited is located at
Manavalakurichi. The unit manufactures illimenite, rutile, zircon,
monzonite, garnet and zirconium dry frit. This unit discharges 1170 KLD
of trade effluent.

The climate is hot and dry and the sea breeze mitigates the heat to
some extent. The period from January to May is marked by unusual hot
climate with 38 C. The relative humidity while varies from 51 to 78%.
The coldest month is cember with temperature dropping to minimum
of 25 C. Generally the area receives rainfall from the Northeast
monsoon (October to December).

Indias coastal and marine environments are under increasing Sex Cams
pressure from urban development, tourism, recreational activities and
resource exploitation. A number of official reports were prepared on
the subject and with the result in the year 1981, Prime Minister Mrs.
Indira Gandhi directed to the Chief Ministers of coastal states that,
owing to their aesthetic and environmental value, beaches had to be
kept clear of all activities up to 500 m from the highest water line. For
the purpose of controlling, minimizing and protecting environmental
damage to sensitive coastal stretches from unplanned human
interference, The Government of India, in 1991, issued a major
notification under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, framing rules
for regulation of various coastal zone activities. These rules are called
the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
I. In the CRZ rules it is stated that,
The Coastal States and Union Territory Administrations shall
prepare, within a period of one year from the date of this
Notification, Coastal Zone Management Plans identifying and
classifying the CRZ areas within their respective territories and
obtain approval (with or without modifications) of the Central
Government in the Ministry of Environment & Forests;
Accordingly for preparation of Coastal Zone Management Plan for
the Maharashtra the Central Government constituted an
authority known as the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management
Authority. CZMP prepared for the area by this authority and
approved by Central government shall replace CRZ for the area.

II. The Authority shall have the power to take the following
measures for protecting and improving the quality of the coastal
environment and preventing, abating and controlling
environmental pollution in coastal areas of the State of
Maharashtra, namely:
i. Examination of proposals for changes/ modifications in
classification of Coastal Regulation Zone areas and in the
Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), received from the
Maharashtra State Government and making specific
recommendations to the National Coastal Zone
Management Authority therefor.
ii. (a) Inquiry into cases of alleged violations of the provisions
of the said Act and the rules made thereunder, or under any
other law for the time being in force which is relatable to
the objects of the said Act and, if found necessary in a
specific case, issuing directions under section 5 of the said
Act insofar as such directions are not inconsistent with any
direction issued in that specific case by the National Coastal
Zone Management Authority or by the Central Government;
(b) Review of cases involving violations of the provisions of
the said act and the rules made thereunder, or under any
other law which is relatable to the objects of the said Act,
and, if found necessary referring such cases, with
comments, for review to the National Coastal Zone
Management Authority;
Provided that the cases under sub-paragraphs (ii) (a) and (it)
(b) of paragraph II may be taken up suo-moto, or on the
basis of complaint made by an individual, or a
representative body, or an organization.
iii. Filing complaints, under section, 19 of the said Act in cases
of noncompliance of the directions issued by it under sub-
paragraph (ii) (a) of paragraph II of this Order.
iv. To take action under section 10 of the said Act to verify the
facts concerning the issues arising from sub-paragraphs (i)
and (ii) of paragraph II of this Order.

III. Regulation Zone which may be referred to it by the
MaharashtraState Government, the National Coastal Zone
Management Authority or the Central government
IV. The Authority shall identify ecologically sensitive areas in the
Coastal Regulation Zone, and formulate area - specific
management plans for such identified areas.
V. The Authority shall identify coastal areas highly vulnerable to
erosion/degradation, and formulate area-specific management
plans for such identified areas.
VI. The Authority shall identify ec6nomically important stretches in
the Coastal Regulation Zone and prepare Integrated Coastal Zone
Management Plans for the same.
VII. The Authority shall submit the plans prepared by it under
paragraphs IV, V, VI above and modifications thereof to the
National Coastal Zone Management Authority for examination
and its approval.
VIII. The Authority shall ensure compliance of all specific conditions
that are laid down in the approved Coastal Zone Management
Plan of Maharashtra.
IX. The Authority shall furnish report of its activities at least once in
six months to the National Coastal Zone Management Authority.
X. The foregoing powers and functions of the Authority shall be
subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government.
XI. The Authority shall have its headquarters at Mumbai.
XII. Any matter specifically not failing within the scope and jurisdiction
of the
Authority as so constituted shall be dealt with by the statutory

III. The Authority shall deal with environmental issues relating to