SC Directs Maharashtra Coastal Body To Submit Draft Maps Before April 30
The Supreme Court has directed the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) not to clear proposals infrastructure projects till the state’s coastline maps are finalised. The apex court has now ordered the MCZMA to finalise the maps before April 30. Earlier, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed all states and union territories to submit the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) to the Ministry of Environment and Forests by April-end.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra coastal regulation body is seeking an extension from the ministry for submitting the draft maps as maps from three districts are yet to be finalised.
Earlier, the NGT had said that any failure to submit a plan would attract an “exemplary” penalty of Rs 5 lakh, which should be recovered from the salary of the officers concerned.
"Within three months thereafter, that is by July 31, 2018, the environment ministry shall issue approvals with regard to the fixation of hazard line and CZMP for the respective state covering the entire coastal area. Now, if the officers and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change commit a default, they shall also be liable to be proceeded against in accordance with the law," the Bench said.
The green panel also granted liberty to the ministry to approach the tribunal if any of the states defaulted.
"But, the Ministry of Environment and Forests would not be permitted to contend non-cooperation from the states as the reason for delay, if any, in compliance of this deadline in this order," it said.
The NGT had earlier said the authorities were primarily shifting the blame between the states and the Centre, with the execution of the direction being "kept in abeyance" without any justifiable reason.
The mandate came on a plea, seeking an expeditious framing of the CZMP for different states and UTs such as Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu. Coastal zone management involves managing coastal areas to balance environmental, economic, human health and related activities.
With inputs from Housing News