CRZ Rules Eased for 'Blue Flag' Beaches
- 15 Jan 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has relaxed Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
- CRZ rules restrict construction near beaches. Relaxation in the rules will allow States to construct infrastructure and enable the beaches to receive ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
- The Ministry selected 13 beaches in India for the Blue Flag certificate in 2019.
- India’s CRZ laws do not allow the construction of infrastructure on beaches and islands.
- However, the Blue Flag certification requires beaches to create infrastructures like portable toilet blocks, greywater treatment plants, a solar power plant, seating facilities, CCTV surveillance, etc.
- The government notified that construction activities and facilities shall be permitted in the CRZs, including Islands, for the purpose of Blue Flag Certification in beaches.
- However, these activities are subject to maintaining a minimum distance of 10 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL).
High Tide Line: HTL means the line on the land up to which the highest water line reaches during the spring tide.
Low Tide Line: Similarly, it means the line on the land up to which the lowest water line reaches during the spring tide.
Spring tides: The position of both the sun and the moon in relation to the earth has direct bearing on tide height. When the sun, the moon and the earth are in a straight line, the height of the tide will be higher. These are called spring tides and they occur twice a month, one on full moon period and another during new moon period.
Blue Flag Certification
- It is an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.
- The ‘Blue Flag’ beach is an ‘eco-tourism model’ and marks out beaches as providing tourists and beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, a safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area.
- The Blue Flag Programme was started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside Europe since 2001 when South Africa joined.
- The Blue Flag Programme is run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) which is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation.
- The certification is accorded by the Denmark-based Foundation for Environment Education, with 33 stringent criteria under four major heads for the beaches, that are-
- Environmental Education and Information
- Bathing Water Quality
- Environment Management and Conservation
- Safety and Services
- Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395 Blue Flag beaches, respectively.
- Japan and South Korea are the only countries in the south and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.