An ocean of issues - The India CRZ regulations have to tread a careful path
An environmental policy that advocates sustainability as an important means of managing human activity was introduced to India much later after its independence. With the young independent country focusing on economic development as a means to provide for livelihood, food, water and basic sustenance for its populace, there came a need to focus on the impact of this development on the environment.
It is only after the Stockholm Conference in 1972 which resulted in the Declaration on Human Environment, that there was an official pursuit of obligation towards starting the environmental law in India.
Ever since the legislation for environment protection was enacted and the Constitution was amended in 1976 providing for an obligation on the state towards protection and improvement of environment and providing safeguards for forests and wildlife in the country, there has always been a conflict between the environmental regulations and the strive towards development. With the business interests in the “development of the nation” growing, the very existence of the forests, water and wildlife has been threatened. The latest of these threats is from approval granted by the Union Cabinet to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018 which seeks to replace the existing CRZ Notification of 2011.