Coastal zone norms may harm tourism

Panaji, Oct 15 (IANS) The centre’s coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) draft notification could affect the tourism prospect of Maharashtra and Karnataka, tourism officials here said Friday.

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Managing Director Kiran Kurundkar told the International Travel Mart (ITM) Goa that both Karnataka and Goa, emerging as coastal-oriented tourism destinations, were at the receiving end for the proposed coastal norms.

While Kerala and Goa were given few relaxations, the states which earlier did not think of developing coastal tourism, are now caught in the new CRZ regulations, said Kurundkar.

Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) Managing Director Vinay Luthra said the CRZ norms posed a problem for tourism trade.

‘The regulations are primarily aimed to conserve the environment. But all these rules and regulations have become rituals rather than following the actual spirit behind them. CRZ has been a problem for tourism industry,’ Luthra said.

The CRZ draft notification by the environment ministry entails giving protection to traditional dwellings along the coasts while strictly banning any development near the high tide line or sensitive marine habitats.

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