Times of India: Ahmedabad: Wednesday, 18 February 2015.
The Centre's recent notification on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) has brought the salt manufacturing activity under the ambit of the CRZ Act. According to the regulation, saltpan owners will have to get an environ ment impact assessment done before seeking approval under the CRZ.
Official said that following the amendment, salt work has moved into re stricted category . With this, the saltpan owners will have to make an environment impact assessment and will have to apply to the state CRZ committee for approval before commencing any work.
Hardik Shah, member secretary of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, said, “In coastal salt manufacturing, Gujarat's share is around 70% in the country . Earlier, only those works which were to be taken up in the sensitive zones were required to seek approval from the Government of India. Now, approval for works under the CRZ can be sought from the state committee.“
In order to save the small salt farmers from going in for an Environment Impact As sessment (EIA), the plan is to have an EIA for a cluster of small saltpan owners, especially in Surendranagar and Kutch areas.This would save the small saltpan owners from the hassles of EIA.
A senior official said that if the small salt farmers are outside the 500 metres range of the high tide line, they will seek approval from the state.“If a big industrial house is in the critical CRZ, it would have to seek approval from the Government of India,“ said the official.