Govt May Remove Ban That Prohibits The Exploitation Of India's Beaches, Coasts For Commercial Use

The Indian government has drafted new rules that will remove the ban on exploiting the Indian coasts and beaches for commercial and entertainment use, potentially endangering even ecologically sensitive areas, The Indian Express reported.

According to the report, the Environment Ministry has drafted rules that will replace the current set of regulation that falls under the "Coastal Regulation Zone" norms that currently prohibit among other things the construction of permanent and concrete structures within half a kilometre from the sea coasts.

The draft rules would allow, among other things, the setting up of residences, commercial fish processing units and other infrastructure. Even ecologically sensitive areas such as wildlife reserves could be exploited for development activities if they are deemed in "national interest," according to the ministry, which has stated these areas have "tremendous tourism potential."

Some states have been demanding the easing of the current rules, alleging that the coast lines are already being encroached upon by commercial enterprises illegally and should be opened up for commercial use.

However, according to a Times of India report, there have been a number of instances in Visakhapatnam, for example, where government bodies have allegedly permitted the construction of several hotels, resorts and commercial projects along the Vizag-Bheemili Beach Road in violation of the rules.

Highlights of the National Disaster Management Plan

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country. 

Minister of Home Affairs Shri Rajnath Singh, Minster of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju, and senior officers of the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Home Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority were present during the function. 

Following are the highlights of the NDMP:

Experts fear failure at Pentha

Monalisa Patsani

Post News Network

Why Chennai went down and under

The unprecedented and continuing rains that have broken a 100-year record and have wreaked havoc in Chennai for over a week, highlight both elaborate rescue and relief efforts as well as gaps in the existing policy on disaster planning. It is true that swift deployment of the armed forces to evacuate people in affected areas and extensive rehabilitation work by the government, various NGOs, not to mention high-spirited individuals, is laudable. But as the city limps back to normalcy, it is time for introspection.

Terror attacks, massive floods, earthquakes — every such event that occurs in India appears to follow a similar pattern. Public rage, condemnation of the government, massive relief efforts, and then, as a final touch, focus on the ‘spirit of the city and people’. But we need to ask ourselves if extolling the undying spirit is a cover-up for our indifference to the lacunae in the policies of the Centre and the State governments.

True, losses were unavoidable given the record-breaking rains that lashed across the city. But what made matters worse was that people were caught unawares by the flash floods in the absence of an effective early warning system or mitigation measures.

Why is Chennai under Water

 A video from Indian Express: