The draft mentions that construction of sewage treatment plants in CRZ-I area shall be taken only by the municipal authorities.
Environmentalists fear the new CRZ (coastal regulation zone) notification 2018 the draft of which is available now will expose the eco-sensitive areas of Greater Mumbai area to further damage.
They fear that the provision in the draft notification for allowing some types of construction in the CRZ II zone categorised as no-development zone (NDZ) will help builders.
“Instead of protecting the environment, the Environment Ministry is relaxing the environmental regulations and the main beneficiary is the builders,” said environmentalist Debi Goenka.
As per the draft notification, the open spaces, parks, gardens and playgrounds indicated in development plans within CRZ II will be categorised as “no development zone” (NDZ). While no residential or commercial constructions will be allowed in these open spaces, 15 per cent of the area could be used for civic amenities, stadium and gymnasium meant for recreational or sports-related activities.
The draft mentions that construction of sewage treatment plants in CRZ-I area shall be taken only by the municipal authorities in exceptional circumstances, where no alternate site is available to set up such facilities and is subject to recommendations of the CZMA and approval by the Central Government.
In case of construction of such plant in a mangrove area, a minimum three times the mangrove area affected during the construction process shall be taken up for compensatory plantation of mangroves.
“The compensatory plantation has also been reduced from five times the affected mangrove area to three times now,” said Godfrey Pimenta, Mumbai-based activist and Trustee of Watchdog Foundation.
It also mentions an amendment in zoning the CRZ areas. CRZ III areas, where the population density is more than 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 census base, shall be designated as CRZ –III A, where area only up to 50 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) on the landward side can be earmarked as NDZ.