Coastal Eco-systems, Vulnerability, and Sustainability: Social Science Perspectives. by-Hemantkumar chouhan & D. Parthasarathy
Hemantkumar A. Chouhan
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Motivations for CRZ laws? Why regulate?
The study of coastal zones – need for inter – and multi –
Development vs environment, biodiversity vs
urbanization, tourism vs ecology, livelihoods vs
Coastal zones in India: densely population, economically
dynamic, ecologically sensitive and significant
Risk and vulnerability: nature of risk; community and
individuality; importance of the state;
The problem of inequality: prismatic vulnerability
Ecologically fragile, socially marginal, highly
Assessing and mitigating vulnerability – the dilemma
of infrastructure development in coastal zones
Multiple agencies in planning, implementation,
DP, SRA, SWM, Water, Transport – the invisibility of
Principal-Agent problem, conflict of interests, Moral
Conflicts: rich vs poor or poor vs poor?
Politics of aspirations
The context of „development‟
Gender, ethnicity, age
Coastal zones as commons: land, sea, mangroves,
o customary and modern management practices
o free-rider and “tragedy of the commons”? (Hardin,
New design principles? (Ostrom)
o micro, meso, and macro levels (Nested Institutions)
Participatory governance: take advantage of
constitutional provisions (74th amendment)
In the name of “development” Tourist Industry,
Infrastructural Projects violates CRZ I, in all 9 states
The Esselworld Amusement Park at Gorai in
destroyed 700 acres of mangrove fields by spraying
chemicals CRZ I.
Thermal Power Plant at Dahanu:
reclaimed vast wetland of more than 1,000 acres for
construction of the plant and dumping of ashes.
Worli–Bandra sea-link bridge in Mumbai:
70 acres of estuary area of the Mithi river at Mahim
have been reclaimed.
In 1965-66 govt. began to reclaimed area for
constructing residential and commercial buildings
for the rich.
Fishing community 200-250 families protested this
reclamation. As part of protest the dependant
families shifted their residence at Badhwar Park.
Encroachment by migrants: Garib Janta Ngr,
Mahatma Phule Ngr, and Dhobi Ghat .Not
dependant on fish catching.
Sea became dump yard for their debris. Leads to
pollution of sea water, stop fish breeding.
S F forced to go for deep fishing.
fishermen finding hard to catch even with net also.
Smaller nets get entangled with the bigger trawler
an Persian nets. Boundary not demarcated.
Beautification: CPRA garden, covered sixty (60m)
metres of reclaimed land in the seaside which is
violation of CRZ I.
Environmental Damage: Due to cutting of
mangroves, the ecology of the coastal area is being
Declared an Important Bird Area (IBA)
More than 60,000 birds seen annually,
both resident and migratory.
Notable among them: Greater and
Lesser Flamingo, Pied Avocet, Wooly-
necked Stork, Painted Stork etc.
Land reclassified from CRZ-I to CRZ-
Handed over for construction of an
SEZ in prime mangrove location.
Concerned Govt. Departments:
MCZMA, MCGM, Environment
Jeopardy: Dumping of solid waste on
nearby mangroves by the MCGM!
Water Pollution: Main reasons
the industrial construction
◦ outlet of the sewerage pipe line directly into sea water and
destruction of mangroves
◦ Polluted water leads to increases of mosquitoes, where
fisherman cannot catch the fishes
Decrease in species of fish:
◦ In such a situation fish cannot live and cannot generate new
Varieties of fishes available in this creek were:
◦ Kala fish (Pila pea),
◦ Jitadi (Sneeper),
◦ Chimbori (Crabs),
◦ Small sine (Sins),
◦ Karpal (Tiger pounds),
◦ Boi (silver fish),
◦ Kullim (Tinny streen) in this creek
◦ Only the Kala fish remains.
◦ Sneeper and other species of fish are no more to be found.
1 km stretch between Joggers’ park and Bandra Bandstand
80 per cent small fish catching
◦ A number of illegal constructions
◦ 2 & 3 three storey bungalows right on the beach in the last 7
◦ builders and their construction process violate the CRZ
The BMC officials have come up with Rs. 4 Crore
beautification plan for area with an aim to improve its
No land is available for parking boats and the market
area, selling their fishes on beach
◦ taken over by some elite group association Advanced
Legislative Management Society (ALM) and BMC
No land available drying area:
◦ Ground available near the Jogger’s Park which leads
to the Chimbai pumping station available for drying
fishes. But this plot is also taken over as part of the
fight between small fishermen and elite groups
Sewri Mangrove Park declared by BPT in 1996.
Was supposed to develop the area to showcase
mangroves and Flamingo habitat.
Park consists of 15 acres of mangroves in the
mudflats between Sewri and Trombay.
Reality: 30 Hectares of mangroves completely
wiped out and the entire belt in danger of getting
Cause: The improper location and storage of coking
coal in the immediate locality.
The discharges from the Bombay Port Trust include
coal and oil which are directly dumped into the sea
water. Due to this the mangroves are drying and being
Decrease in fishing activity and alternative
Boi, Bangda, Tarla, Tingala, Pale, Sewad, Kolambi,
Pamplet, Goli, Rawas, Toli, Wam were available. But
now they are catching only crabs in deep sea water.
Construction & Encroachment:
Though BPT is encroaching land inside sea.
Natural and are a renewable resource.
Buffer Zone between the land and sea.
Protect the coast against erosion due to wind,
waves, water currents and protect coral reefs, sea-
grass bed and shipping lanes against siltation
clean air by absorbing pollutants in the air.
Host a number of threatened or endangered
species, different animal species- mammals,
reptiles, amphibians and bird- offer nutrients to the
marine food web and provide spawning grounds to
a variety of fish and shellfish
Catching Small Fish only
monsoon fish catching is ban.
Size of nets used is small
Mangroves are not cut down ruthlessly
Follow some unwritten law
Manage fishes according to availability of species
small fishes are not target.
Overexploitation of natural resources not happen by
fishing community, Pressure of Urban development
In 2009, 24 complaints were registered
◦ MCZMA had issued a letter to concern authority.
◦ No one complaint was taken action against any violations
In 2010 there were 42 complaints
◦ only 10 complain were under directive process, rest of
complain were issued letter only
In the year of 2011 there were 99 complaints
◦ Only 3 complaints where MCZMA has stopped work
◦ 20 complaints were considered in the meeting of
NO ICZM Plan
Objectives of CRZ not fulfilled
enforcement agencies have been extremely
apathetic with implementation of CRZ.
It deliberately ignores issues of public
so many areas in Mumbai are polluted by
projects and leading to lack of fishes.
The natural resource of fish is destroyed by big
trawler as well as per sian net owner.
Government tried to satisfy builder lobby, fishing
community and environmentalist through CRZ
Environmentalists concern is more to save or preserve biodiversity
of coastal area rather than livelihood of dependent people of coastal
This lack of concern for dependent communities is leading to
growing commercial exploitation, reduction in the loss of
biodiversity, continued alienation of indigenous communities, and
the creation of administrative, policy and legal measures which
remain paper tigers (Wani, Taraporvala, 2012).
It also has implications for local participation in biodiversity and
mangrove sustainability issues, due to the absence of local
champions for environmental causes, which remain an elite or
middle class issue.
There are several institutions and agencies functioning separately
If the state is serious about environmental protection of coastal
areas, it is time that the fishing communities are made integral
stakeholders in CRZ implementation such that livelihood issues and
ecosystem conservation can both be efficiently addressed.