State for changes in CRZ norms



 In an effort to attract investments in the tourism sector along the 320-km coastline in the state, the Karnataka government is seeking changes in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. The state cabinet today decided to approach the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), government of India, seeking approval for conversion of areas falling under the CRZ-3 into CRZ-2 along the coastline, minister for higher education, V S Acharya said.


Briefing reporters on the outcome of cabinet decisions, here today, he said, “A large extent of area along the coastline in Karnataka is classified under the CRZ-3 norms which prohibit any commercial activity and construction within 500 metres of the high tide zone. Because of this norm, we are unable to develop tourism activity along our coastline.”

In 1992, the MoEF classified the coastal area into four zones. In the CRZ-1 no construction can be done within the 500 metres from the high tide area and CRZ-2 permits further development of existing developed area. The

CRZ-3 does not provide for any activity within the 500 metres from the high tide area, while CRZ-4 is for islands and does not apply to Karnataka, he explained.

By converting the areas falling under CRZ-3 into CRZ-2, the state government plans to take up development of tourism infrastructure and allow construction of huts for fishermen. “If the Centre approves our request, we can take up fresh construction upto nine metres from the high tide area. This will largely benefit the tourism sector to make investments in the state and we can develop the state on the lines of Goa and Kerala, which have done a lot of development in tourism along their coast,” Acharya said.

The budget session of the state legislature will be held for 15 days from February 24. The chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who also holds the finance portfolio, will present the budget for 2011-12 on February 24 at 12 noon. “The budget session will have 15 working days,” Acharya said. This will be the third budget to be presented by Yeddyurappa after BJP government came to power in 2008.

Among other major decisions, the state cabinet approved opening of three para-medical colleges, six nursing colleges in the state.