Government is working on a policy to expand various activities along the country’s coastline, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said today, asserting that good development and environment could co-exist and were not contrary to each other.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, he said he would soon have a meeting with all MPs from coastal areas to discuss the issue.
The Minister said there will be no impediment in initiating development and setting up of new ports.
“The country has a total of 7,516.6 kms of coastline. While the world is earning a lot from coastal areas through tourism in crores, but in India we have just let it go.
“We are seriously trying to evolve a new policy and are ensuring that while preserving our world heritage sites, how can we expand activities along the coastal areas. We are working on it seriously and thinking about this,” he said.
Dave said because of the Coastal Regulation Zone, people living there now want not only new houses, but new technology for improving shelf-life of their fish, which was not there 40-50 years ago and added that the government was working on how to address these demands.
“As per law, there are many problems arising out of CRZ and it is not related to houses and infrastructure alone. We are seriously working in this regard. We will have to seriously think about CRZ and we would need cooperation of all in this regard.
“I will sit with all MPs soon from coastal areas and discuss with them and evolve a policy soon,” Dave said.
He said the Sagarmala project was in a very initial stage and development of a port is being worked out, but there is no proposal so far for clearance of this project. “There is no proposal for its environment clearance before us,” he said.
The Minister also said there will be no impediment in initiating development and setting up new ports as “good development and environment work together and co-exist and are not contrary to each other.”