The State government is awaiting reports on 3,404 cases of reported Coastal Zone Regulation (CRZ) violations in Ernakulam district. Another 301 cases have been compiled by the district committee appointed by the government to track violations.
The picture of CRZ violations in the district emerged in a recent affidavit filed by Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta before the Supreme Court. The affidavit also indicated that there were 152 cases in the district, which belonged to the category of permissible constructions for which prior clearance was not obtained.
Kollam and Alappuzha topped the list of violations with 4,860 and 4,650 cases respectively. The affidavit indicated that the district committees had reported a total of 27,735 cases of violations across the State. The Chief Secretary also indicated that the final list of violations might vary after field verifications and site inspections.
The coastal district committees prepared the draft CRZ violation list with the help of documents available with local bodies. The list was published on the websites of the districts for comments, suggestions, and opinions from the general public. The public appealed to the coastal committees to conduct field verifications before finalising the list of violations against the CRZ notification. Field verifications could not be completed in time owing to the pandemic outbreak, the Chief Secretary submitted.
He also submitted that complaints raised by the public against CRZ violations might be confirmed after field verifications and site inspections with satellite imageries and field collection data using advanced geo-informatics tools such as Differential Global Positioning System and Electronic Total Station. Field verifications are being planned to be carried out by officials of local bodies, Revenue, and town planing and technical experts, the affidavit said.
Incidentally, the State-wide crackdown on CRZ violations got a momentum after the demolition of the four apartment complexes at Maradu, which had come up on the banks of the Vembanad Lake in violation of rules. While ordering the demolition of the structures, the Supreme Court had also asked the State government to come up with a list of violations in the State.
In his affidavit, the Chief Secretary sought an additional eight months for completion of identification of violations.