The Kerala government today announced a slew of concessions to protect the interests of people, especially fishermen in coastal areas, as a move to meet their grievances and apprehensions due to restrictions in human activity under Coastal Regulatory Zone Act (CRZ).
Announcing the concessions in the Assembly in reply to a submission on the issue, chief minister Oommen Chandy said it was decided to make inoperative an order issued by the science and technology department to take steps to evict illegal constructions that came up after 1997 in coastal areas. The CRZ Act has caused anxiety and fear among people living in coastal areas in the same manner the Kasturirangan report triggered in hill range areas, he said, adding "government views the issue very seriously."
He said government would accord sanction for construction of houses, toilets and sheds in the coastal areas to keep the equipment of fishermen. Chandy made it clear the concessions announced would be available only to locals and not for commercial, industrial and tourism purposes.
Dominic Presentation (Congress) took up the issue and wanted the government to take immediate steps to allay the fears among people living in coastal areas. The CPI-M led LDF Opposition had raised the issue in the Assembly yesterday and walked out to protest government's refusal to discuss the same in the House.