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Biodiversity & Environment

New island rules: IPZ 2019

  • 27 Mar 2019
  • 3 min read

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified Island Protection Zone (IPZ) 2019 for Andaman and Nicobar.

Purpose

  • Changes in the IPZ are aligned with the Niti Aayog's proposal for holistic development in the Islands.
  • The government’s planning to open up the blue economy and sustainable harnessing of ocean resources.

IPZ 2019

  • It allows eco-tourism projects 20 meters from the high tide line (HTL) in smaller islands like Baratang, Havelock, and Car Nicobar.
  • In case of larger islands, 50 meters from the HTL is permitted.
  • It allows for eco-tourism activities like mangrove walks, tree huts and nature trails in island coastal regulation zone(ICRZ) IA (ICRZ 2018: ICRZ IA, provides areas classified as the most eco-sensitive region of the islands which includes turtle nesting grounds, marshes, coral reefs etc)
  • The notification also allows for construction of roads, roads on stilts by reclaiming land in exceptional cases for defense installations, public utilities or strategic purposes in eco-sensitive zones.
  • In case construction of such roads pass through mangroves, a minimum three times the mangrove area destroyed during the construction process shall be taken up for compensatory plantation of mangroves elsewhere.

Concerns over IPZ 2019

  • It brings the norms for Andaman and Nicobar at par with Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2018 norms for other islands close to the mainland and backwater islands where a No Development Zone (NDZ)is only 20 meters from HTL.
  • Previously, IPZ 2011 stipulated an NDZ of 200 meters from the HTL for all islands.
  • Only pipelines, transmission lines, trans-harbor links to be laid in the eco-sensitive zone were permitted. Now road construction is allowed.

Note:

  • High tide line (HTL) is defined as line up to which highest high tide reaches in spring tides.
  • It is delineated by walking over or remote sensing data or by helicopter survey.
  • The Low Tide Line(LTL) is the limit up to which the lowest low tide recedes during spring tide.
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