The Southern Bench of NGT states that setting up facilities on the city’s beaches requires approval from the coastal body.      

Key Highlights

  • NGT Mandate on ₹100-crore Chennai Shoreline Development Project: In a suo motu case, the Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) mandates the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) to obtain approval from the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA) before engaging in any beach activities, except for cleaning and encroachment removal.
  • suo motu case: it refers to a court’s inherent power to act on its own accord.
  • Integrated Coastal Community Development in CRZ II Areas: As part of this Project, the CMDA plans integrated coastal community development’ in Kasimedu, Tiruvottiyur, and Injambakkam-Akkarai within Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) II areas, where such activities are prohibited.
  • Recommendation for Blue Flag Certification: Recently, the TNSCZMA recommended the Chennai Shoreline Development project for Blue Flag certification in collaboration with the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management.
  • This recommendation bypassed the requirement for CRZ clearances, aligning with a 2020 order from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), which exempted facilities seeking certification from needing prior clearances.
  • NGT Verdict on MoEFCC Approval: It stated that the CMDA could not proceed with the project without approval from the MoEFCC. 
  • It also emphasized that the 2020 order specified Blue Flag Certification could only be obtained for “identified beaches,” and none were designated by the MoEFCC between Kasimedu and Akkarai.

National Green Tribunal

  • Established on October 18, 2010, under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for the efficient handling of environmental protection and conservation cases.
  • New Delhi is the main seat of the Tribunal, with additional sittings in Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai.

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)

  • Created under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.
  • It includes land between the low tide line (LTL) and the high tide line (HTL), along with coastal areas encompassing creeks, seas, bays, rivers, and backwaters subjected to tides within 500 meters from the HTL.
  • The four kinds of coastal areas are listed in the CRZ notification that is CRZs I, II, III, and IV.

Blue Flag Certification: 

  • Established in 1987, it’s a globally recognized eco-label for beaches, promoting environmental education and sustainable management worldwide.

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