India: Government Constitutes National Coastal Zone Management Authority

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By S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates

Introduction

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has constituted the National Coastal Zone Management Authority vide notification no. S.O. 3266(E) dated October 6, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the “Authority”).

The Central Government constituted the Authority, in exercise of the powers conferred under subsections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (hereinafter referred to as “EPA”).

  • Section 3(1) – It grants the Central Government with the power to take all such measures as it deems necessary for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution.
  • Section 3(3) – If it is considered necessary by the Central Government to do for the purposes of the EPA, then it may constitute an authority for the purpose of exercising and performing such of the powers and functions of the Central Government under EPA.

Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

Enacted in 1986, it is one of the most comprehensive legislations with an intent to protect and improve the environment. Article 48A under the Constitution of India specifies that the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. The objectives of this Act are as follows:-

  • To protect and improve the environment qualities
  • To cover all the problems of environment
  • To create an authority with the purpose of environmental protection
  • To provide a deterrent punishment to those who endanger human environment, safety and health

National Coastal Zone Management Authority

The Authority constituted by the Central Government has its principal focus on the coastal environment. The main purpose for constitution of the Authority is protection and improving the quality of the coastal environment and preventing, abating and controlling environmental pollution in the coastal areas.

The Authority shall have its headquarters at New Delhi. The list of persons appointed at various designations under the Authority can be found in the Official Gazette of India.1 The minimum number of members required to initiate a valid meeting of the Authority shall be ten (10). The powers and functions of the Authority are as follows:-

  • To co-ordinate the actions of the State Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMA) and the Union Territory Coastal Zone Management Authorities (UTZMA) under the EPA and the Rules made thereunder, or under any other law which is relatable to the objects of the said EPA
  • To review cases involving violations of the provisions of the EPA and the Rules made thereunder, either suo-motu, or on the basis of complaint made by an individual or body, or organization, and issue directions wherever necessary, under section 5 (Power to give directions) of the EPA.
  • To make specific recommendations to the Central Government after examining the proposals for changes or modifications in the clarification of Coastal Zone Areas and in the Coastal Zone Management Plans received from the SCZMA and the UTZMA.
  • File complaints under section 19 (Cognizance of Offence) of the EPA in cases of noncompliance of the directions issued by it.
  • To inspect the facts concerning the cases before it.
  • To provide technical assistance and guidance to various Government Authorities and other institutions or organizations as may be found necessary, in the matters relating to protection and improvement of coastal environment.
  • To advise the Central government on policy, planning, research and development, setting up of centres of excellence and funding, in matters relating to Coastal Regulation Zone Management.
  • To deal with all environmental issues relating to coastal regulation zone which may be referred to it by the Central Government.
  • To place information regarding the agenda and minutes of its meetings in the public domain, including through internet website www.envfor.nic.in.
  • Whenever required, to invite any other expert as a member during its meeting.
  • The foregoing powers and functions of the Authorities shall be subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government.

Source: Mondaq News Alerts

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