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Full text of "Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry: Coastal Area Assessment - A Post Tsunami Study on Coastal Conservation and Regulation"





TAMIL NADU & PONDICHERRY 

COASTAL AREA ASSESSMENT 
A POST TSUNAMI STUDY ON COASTAL CONSERVATION AND REGULATION 



TAMIL NADU & PDNDICHERRY 



Coastal Area Assessment 

A post tsunami study on coastal 
conservation and regulation. 

EQUATIONS, INDIA 

Published in India, 2006 by EQUATIONS 
EQUATIONS was founded in 1985 in response to an urge to 
understand the impacts of tourism development particularly 
in the context of liberalised regimes, economic reforms and 
the opening up of the economy. We envision tourism that is 
non-exploitative, gender just & sustainable where decision- 
making is democratised and access to and benefits of tourism 
are equitably distributed. 

This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part for 
educational, advocacy or not-for-profit purposes. We would 
appreciate your seeking permission from us, letting us know 
of the use you wish to put it to, and acknowledging us as the 
source. 

ClTATIDN 

EQUATIONS, Feb 2006. "Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry - 
Coastal Area Assessment: a Post Tsunami Study on Coastal 
Conservation & Regulation", Bangalore INDIA. 

Cdre Research Team 

Ms. ManjuMenon 
Mr. P. Muthu 
Mr. Syed Liyakhat 

Extended Consultative 
Team 

Mr. Mathivanan, Tamil Nadu Environmental Council 

Mr. Samir Mehta, Bombay Environmental Action Group 

Mr. Sudarshan Rodriguez 

Mr. Pankaj Sekhsaria, Kalpavriksh 

Ms. Aarthi Sridhar, Ashoka Trust for Research on Ecology & 

Environment 

Layout design: smriti.chanchani@gmail.com 
All photos: EQUATIONS 

ADDRESS 

EQUATIONS -Equitable Tourism Options 

#415, 2C - Cross, 4th Main, 

OMBR Layout Banaswadi Bangalore 560 043, INDIA 

Ph: +91-80-25457607/25457659, 

Fax: +91-80-25457665, 

Email: info@equitabletourism.org 

Website: www.equitabletourism.org 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



EQUATIONS gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the following organisations and individuals who collaborated and 
supported us in our efforts to carry out the Rapid Assessment Survey as well as the Coastal Area Assessment. Their inputs 
and efforts have been very valuable towards the completion of this report. 

Auroville,Pondicherry; Ms. An napurna, student of National Law School, Ahmedabad; Ms. FatimaBabu, Activist, Thoothukudi; 
Mr. Ossie Fernandes - Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF), Chennai; Dr. Lai Mohan Conservation 
Nature Trust, Nagercoil; Mr. Kasilingam, Fishermen Union leader; Adv. T. Mohan; Mr. Nizamudeen, FEDCOT, Cuddalore; 
Mr. Pushparayan, Tuticorin; Mr. Rajesh Rangarajan, ToxicsLink, Chennai; Ms. Jesu Rethinam, SNEHA, Nagapattinam; Ms. 
Sumitra M Gautama and B. Maheswaran, Krishnamoorthy Foundation School, Chennai; Annai Teresa Welfare Trust (ATWT) 
Thoothukudi; Bhoomika Trust, Chennai; Centre for Rural Education and Economic Development (CREED), Cuddalore; HEAL 
Movement, Nagercoil; HOPE, Pondicherry; International Collective in Support of Fishworkers; Madras Crocodile BankTrust, 
Mamallapuram; NGO Coordination and Resource Centre (NCRC), Nagapattinam; People's Action for Development (PAD), 
Vembar; Rural Upliftment Centre (RUC), Tirunelveli; Social Need Education and Human Awareness (SNEHA); Society for 
Integrated Rural Development (SIRD); South India Federation of Fish workers (SIFFS); Mr. Muniandi; Mr. Karuppusamy, 
Tamil Nadu Rural Reconstruction Movement (TRRM); Tamil Nadu Environmental Council (TNEC); Tsunami Legal Action 
Committee (TLAC); Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation Coordination (TRRC); and Mr. Yoganathan, Panchayat President, 
Thillaivalagam. 







TABLE OF CONTENTS 


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 


Context of the study 


Objectives of the study 


Activities & Report 


Recommendations 


PART 


1 - INTRDDUCTIDN - 06 


1.1. 


The Milieu 


1.2. 


The Tsunami and its Aftermath 


1.3. 


Methods 


1.4. 


Limitations 


1.5. 


The Study Area 


PART 2 - DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES AND IMPACTS - 10 


2.1. 


Thiruvallur 


2.2. 


Chennai 


2.3. 


Kancheepuram 


2.4. 


Villupuram 


2.5. 


Pondicherry and Karaikal 


2.6. 


Cuddalore 


2.7. 


Nagapattinam 


2.8. 


Thiruvarur 


2.9. 


Tanjavur 


2.10. 


Pudukottai 


2.11. 


Ramanathapuram 


2.12. 


Thoothukudi 


2.13. 


Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari 


PART 3 - CDASTALTDURISM IN TAMIL NADU Sc PDNDICHERRY - 20 


3.1. 


Status of Tourism alongthe coast of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry 


3.2. 


Tourism Plans of Tamil Nadu post Tsunami 


3.2.1. 


Government of India Assisted Schemes 


3.2.2. 


Integrated development of Tourism Circuits - Development of Vivekananda Travel Circuit 




(Ramanathapuram and Kanyakumari) 


3.2.3. 


Beach tourism 


3.2.4. 


Development of the Ecotourism Circuit 


3.2.5. 


Analysis & recommendations 


PART 4 - DVERVIEW DFTHE IMPACT DFTHE TSUNAMI DN THE- If 


TAMIL NADU CDAST 


4.1. 


Thiruvallur 


4.2. 


Chennai 


4.3. 


Kancheepuram 


4.4. 


Villupuram 



4-5- Pondicherry and Karaikal 

4.6. Cuddalore 

4.7. Nagapattinam 

4.8. Thiruvarur 

4.9. Tanjavur 

4.10. Pudukottai 

4.11. Ramanathapuram 

4.12. Thothukudi 

4.13. Tirunelveli 

4.14. Kanyakumari 

4.15. Post Tsunami Reconstruction Activities: Ecological Impacts on the Coast 

PART 5 - IMPLEMENTATION OF LEGAL & POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR COASTAL CONSERVATION & - 33 
REGULATION IN TAMIL NADU & PONDICHERRY 

5.1. The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification - The Potential to Protect Coastal Habitats 
and Coastal Communities 

5.2. CRZ Notification, 1991 - Salient Features 

5.3. ImplementingAgencies 

5.4. Dilutions 

RECDMMENDATIDNS - 43 

ANNEXURES - 5O 

1. Factual information supplement -Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry 

2. The Dynamic Nature of Coastal Ecosystems and their Functions 

2.1. Ecologically important coastal areas of Tamil Nadu 

2.2. Ecological Profile of Pondicherry 

BIBLIDGRAPHY - 62 



PLATES -64 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 



Cdntext df the study 

This study was undertaken in the context of the 
tsunami of 26 December 2004, which was a grim 
reminder of the need to ensure the protection of 
coastal and island ecosystems and to revisit issues 
relating to legal and policy frameworks governing 
them. Both coastal and island ecosystems are 
ecologically fragile and extremely sensitive to the 
natural and anthropogenic activities affecting them. 
While it is not attempting to be a tsunami impact 
assessment study, it raises and attempts to answer 
a number of questions need to be addressed in the 
context of the tsunami and the series of events that 
followed. Primary among these are: 

1. How can the integrity of coastal ecosystems be 
ensured and not compromised, given, on one 
the hand, the rehabilitation and reconstruction 
of affected communities, and on the other, the 
numerous development plans that have been 
chalked out by governments for different sectors? 

2. Are the existing legal and policy frameworks 
and their processes adequate to regulate these 
activities? 

3. What are the implications that natural disasters 
like the tsunami, pose for the implementation of 
legal and policy frameworks? 

This study may be considered as a contribution 
to the ongoing debate and advocacy efforts with 
concerned individuals, groups and authorities to 
revisit the coastal area development debate and 
current legal and policy frameworks, specifically the 
Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991 under 
the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. EQUATIONS, 
having worked on impacts of tourism on communities 
and ecosystems, sees this study as an opportunity 
to revisit these issues in the particular context of 
tourism development, highlight concerns where 
we have been consistently attempting to influence 
tourism policy and its implementation. 

Objectives df the study 

The study was initiated with a set of short term and 
long-term objectives, which were: 

SHORT-TERM OBJECTIVES 

1. Assess the extent of impact on human life, 
livelihoods, property and coastal and island 
ecosystems from an environmental perspective. 



2. Assess the vulnerability of coastal and island 
ecosystems due to unplanned and unregulated 
development. 

3. Collect preliminary information from the affected 
sites. 

4. Examine violations of environmental laws and 
related matters thereof. 

Ldng-term objectives 

1. Document procedural lapses in permitting such 
activities. 

2. Facilitate strengthening of existing legal 
frameworks to address unplanned development. 

3. Critique development plans and activities on 
coasts and islands. 

However, duringthe course of the study, the team was 
compelled to revisit some of them. In the short-term 
objectives, legal violations of environmental laws, 
which in this case are the Coastal Regulation Zone 
Notification, 1991, could not be established due to 
the ambiguity in the Notification regarding clearance 
mechanisms for projects. What would appear to be 
an "in-principle" violation may actually be a cleared 
project. Detailed and case-by-case investigations 
have to be undertaken for this. Therefore, this aspect 
of the Notification has not been dealt with in this 
study. In the long-term objectives, documentation of 
procedural lapses in allowing such activities was also 
not undertaken due to the aforementioned reasons. 
The study has been able to deal with address all other 
objectives reasonably well. 

Activities & Report 

An assessment of the coastal areas in Tamil Nadu 
and Pondicherry which were affected by the tsunami 
of 26 December 2004 was carried out. EQUATIONS 
along with the support of a network of concerned 
organisations and individuals undertook this 
assessment by way of field visits, consultations with 
individuals and groups and compilation of secondary 
data. This exercise was initiated with the aim of 
assessing the extent of impacts on human lives, 
livelihoods, and ecosystems on the one hand, and to 
document and critique existing legal frameworks and 
development plans relating to coastal and marine 
systems. 




This study was undertaken during the period March 
- December 2005. This assessment was undertaken 
by way of field visits, consultations with local 
individuals and groups, photo-documentation and 
compilation of secondary information and data. This 
investigation helped ascertain the extent of impacts 
on human lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems on the 
one hand, and to document and critique existing 
legal frameworks and development plans, especially 
tourism relating to coastal ecosystems in Tamil Nadu 
& Pondicherry. 

The results attest to the fact that both coastal and 
marine ecosystems are important in terms of their 
ecological and livelihood sustaining functions. At 
the same time they are ecologically fragile and are 
extremely sensitive to the natural and anthropogenic 
activities affecting them. The first section of the 
report contextualises the impact of the tsunami by 
describingthe role and function of coastal and marine 
ecosystems. A detailed description of the various 
components of marine and coastal ecosystems in 
Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and the human activities 
impacting them are described in detail. This includes 
information on the distribution of coastal systems 
such as mangroves, wetlands and coral reefs, their 
ecological role and the anthropogenic activities and 
population densities reported from the districts. 
Detailed information on ecologically important 
areas such as the Gulf of Mannar, Pulicat Lake and 
Vedaranyam is provided. The impact of the tsunami 
in terms of loss to life and property are listed for 
districts as well as specific sites. Alongthe east coast 
of India, the Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari districts 
reported the maximum loss of life. The report also 
discusses the reconstruction activities that are being 
taken in the affected areas. 



A number of recommendations emerge from this 
study. These include: developing guidelines to 
strengthen the existing frameworks on coastal 
legislation, capacity building at the community and 
panchayat level on the CRZ rules and provisions, 
preservation of ecologically sensitive areas rich in 
biodiversity. 

The strengthening of community based models of 
conservation and encouraging traditional means 
of beach conservation as opposed to sea walls 
and exotic plantations, renewed restrictions on 
constructions and conversion along the coast, 
carrying out sector wise studies on assessing 
economic costs and benefits to various sections of 
the society. Suggested means of rehabilitation and 
resettlement of people affected by the tsunami, 
specially the fisherfolk and those local people who 
depended on tourism and tourism related activities 
for their livelihood. 



The second part of the study addresses how ongoing 
and planned reconstruction, rehabilitation and 
development activities need to be managed and 
presents an analysis of coastal management issues 
with respect to legislations and policies. The single 
overarching legislation for coastal areas, the Coastal 
Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991 is examined 
in detail. Although proposed more that a decade ago, 
this notification is ambiguous and is yet to be fully 
implemented. The procedural lapses and loopholes 
regarding implementation of this legislation, 
problems with the jurisdictional scope and dilution 
of this notification by newer laws and numerous 
amendments is also discussed in this context. 




Recdmmendatidns 

i. Extend the Jurisdiction of CRZ to include the inter- 
tidal area in all zones 

2. Urgent need to extend the CRZ seaward after 
detailed study to ascertain the area for impact 
from land based activities 
Action by: MoEF 



panchayats in the SCZMA needs to be ensured. A 
clause in this regard needs to be included the CRZ 
Notification to reflect the synergies with PRIA. 
Action by: MoEF 

10. The Governments of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and 
the MoEF should provide for the independent, 
responsive and transparent functioning of the 
State CZMA. 



3. Definition of local inhabitants and 'traditional 
rights and customary uses' to be defined and 
identified in the context of the CRZ notification. 
Action by: Civil Society and Government in 
consultation with local coastal communities 

4. Demarcation of the HTL and the LTL needs to be 
done at the earliest 

Action by: NCZMA and SCZMA in consultation with 
local Panchayats. 

5. Detailed project clearance guidelines need to be 
given in the CRZ notification complimented by EIA 
procedures for all project clearances 

Action by: the NCZMA and SCZMA 

6. In order to understand the true status of 
implementation of the CRZ notification until now, 
detailed studies exploringthe following questions 
will need to be undertaken: 

a. How many of the development activities on the 
coast have been established legitimately following 
all due legal regulatory procedures? 

b. How many of the legally established units comply 
with the conditions imposed on them? 

c. How many units have been established without 
following all the environmental regulatory 
procedures? 

Action by: Peoples Movements and Networks, 
Civil Society Organizations in consultation with 
the SCZMA. 

7. SCZMA suo moto needs to remove the ambiguity 
in its functioning by bringing into the public 
realm and disclosing practices they use to give 
clearances for projects 

8. The linkages between other laws like Town and 
Country Planning; Building regulations and CRZ 
need to be synergised by MOEF 

9. The CRZ should be synergised with the PRIA 
for implementation of CZMP. Representation of 



11. The Governments of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry 
need to reconstitute district level committees 
constituted by the CZMA through maximum public 
participation and involvement of local governing 
bodies, especially the panchayats of fishing 
villages. 

12. A mechanism should be devised to make officials 
personally liable in case they fail to take action 
against violations. 

13. Public access must be provided to all proceedings 
of the authorities, including minutes, copies of 
complaints, applications for approvals, approvals 
and action taken reports. 

14. The CZMP needs to be rewritten keeping in mind 
the context of current developments, including 
changes that may have been brought about 
by the tsunami, with full participation of all 
aforementioned stakeholders. 

15. The maps must be translated and disseminated 
widely. Access to the same should be mandatorily 
provided upto Panchayat level in Tamil for 
comments and approval, prior to it becoming an 
approved working document. 

16. The state government should also take immediate 
steps to identify erosion prone, tsunami affected 
areas and areas, which are likely to be inundated 
due to climate, change as CRZ I areas in the CZMP. 
Action by: The state government needs to direct 
the SCZMA to prepare the new CZMP's for Tamil 
Nadu and Pondicherry. 

17. There is a need for capacity building at the 
community and panchayat level on the CRZ rules 
and guidelines 

Action by: state government with TNCZMA 

18. It is important that Vedaranyam and several other 
wetlands be declared as wetlands of international 




importance under the RAMSAR convention. 
Action by: MoEF 

19. Encourage community based models of 
management 

20. The ecologically important coastal areas need to 
be declared as ecologically sensitive areas under 
the Environment Protection Act, 1986. 

Action by: MoEF 

21. A review of the policy of bio-shields, especially 
coastal plantations should be undertaken and all 
plantation and afforestation activities should be 
on hold till this review is undertaken. 

Action by: Department of Environment & 
Department of Forests, governments of Tamil 
Nadu; Pondicherry 

22. Cumulative impact assessment studies need to 
be undertaken before grant of clearance to any 
more projects on the coast. This is to address the 
additional environmental damage that may result 
from any new proposed project in a certain area. 
Action by: SCZMA to give directives to project 
proponents. 



alter the local beach ecology and geomorphology, 
especially in the case of use of raw materials such 
as sand stone, sand, etc. The type of reconstruction 
should be as per those permitted within the 
CRZ rules and guidelines. Technical guidelines 
reconstruction of shelters should be prepared as 
tool for organisations involved in reconstruction. 

27. Since many NGOs new to the coast are developing 
fishinghamlets besides reconstruction of shelters, 
a guideline/key should be developed detailing all 
the activities and structures that are allowed in the 
different zones in the CRZ. 

28. An addendum to GO 172 is much needed to 
protect the CRZ that becomes free of habitation. 
The GO must indicate that the lands that get freed 
up on the coast will be protected and used only in 
a manner which maintains the ecological balance 
of the coast and no developmental activities will 
be undertaken unless proved as being beneficial 
to the ecology of the coast. These areas should be 
marked in the CZMP and special committees at the 
district level which comprise of representatives of 
the fishing communities should determine the 
future use of these lands. 



23. Sector-wise studies also need to be undertaken 
to assess the extent to which economic benefits 
and employment are created for local communities 
by activities such as tourism and these need 
to be weighed against the costs incurred by the 
communities by these activities in the form of loss 
of resources and socio-cultural impacts. 

Action by: Government departments such as 
tourism 

24. These studies should seek to determine the 
activities that are to be permitted along the coast 
and at what scale. These studies need to maintain 
the health and basic needs of local communities 
and ecosystems as central goals. 



29. The GO which allows district officials to acquire 
wetlands for the purpose of reconstruction and 
housing needs of tsunami affected families needs 
to specify a date after which such acquisition should 
not be allowed and the earlier GO which requires 
district officials to seek the state governments 
prior approval before such acquisitions should be 
restored. 

30. It is strongly recommended that tourism 
development should not displace the local 
communities, not change their traditional 
livelihood practices and not deny access to coastal 
areas and resources, which are their traditional 
and customary rights. 



25. The state government should make available to the 
civil society all land records/ relevant documents 
of pre and post 1991 land use patterns and 
constructions. These will contribute significantly 
to the ongoing reconstruction phase. 

26. Reconstruction of houses, settlements and other 
facilities that existed prior to the tsunami are to 
be allowed and no new constructions should be 
allowed. Reconstruction activities should not 



31. The Tourism Department should respect the need 
to protect ecologically sensitive areas and leave 
them alone from tourism development. 

32. The ecological and social footprint of tourism in 
existing coastal tourism destinations needs to 
be measured. Social and environmental impact 
assessments have to be conducted for any tourism 
project or plan irrespective of its size. 




List df abbreviations 



1. 


CPCB 


2. 


CRZ 


3- 


CZMA 


4- 


CZMP 


5- 


EIA 


6. 


EP Rules 


7- 


EPA 


8. 


Gol 


9- 


HC 


10. 


HTL 


u. 


ICZMP 


12. 


LNG 


13- 


LTL 


14. 


m 


15- 


MoEF 


16. 


MoPNG 


17. 


MoST 


18. 


MoT 


19. 


NDZ 


20. 


NOC 


21. 


SC 


22. 


sec 


23. 


SCZMA 


24. 


SCZMP 


25- 


SEZ 


26. 


SPCB 


27. 


TN 


28. 


TNCZMA 


29. 


Uol 


30. 


WP 



Central Pollution Control Board 

Coastal Regulation Zone 

Coastal Zone Management Authority 

Coastal Zone Management Plan 

Environment Impact Assessment 

Environment (Protection) Rules 

Environment (Protection) Act (1986) 

Government of India 

High Court 

High Tide Line 

Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan 

Liquefied Natural Gas 

Low Tide Line 

metres 

Ministry Of Environment And Forests 

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas 

Ministry of Surface Transport 

Ministry of Tourism 

No Development Zone 

No Objection Certificate 

Supreme Court 

Supreme Court Cases 

State Coastal Zone Management Authority 

State Coastal Zone Management Plan 

Special Economic Zone 

State Pollution Control Board 

Tamil Nadu 

Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority 

Union of India 

Writ Petition 




PART 1 



INTRODUCTION 

1.1. The Milieu 

Coastal areas are subjected to natural dynamics 
induced by processes such as low and high tides, 
land and sea breezes, the formation of sand dunes 
along beaches, the formation of sand bars and spits, 
frequent storms and cyclones and the occasional yet 
devastating tsunami. These ecosystems have the 
capacity to respond to a change and recoverfrom such 
situations in the normal course, but this response 
is often affected and slowed down as a result of 
anthropogenic activities. A spanner is thrown in the 
system when human activities assume proportions 
beyond what coastal ecosystems can bear— in 
the form unplanned, unregulated and unfettered 
expansion and developmental activities and what 
are considered remedial activities or management 
measures, e.g. sea walls and coastal plantations of 
exotic species. 

As is the case in many parts of the world, the coastal 
areas in India are also densely populated. Apart from 
rural and urban settlements, coastal areas are the 
site of many kinds of industrial and infrastructure 
developments. Chemical and petrochemical 
industries, thermal power plants, aquaculture and 
tourism are the main industrial activities that happen 
along the coastline. Not to mention all major and 
minor ports, harbours and jetties that dot the Indian 
coastline and islandsofAndamanand Nicobarlslands 
and Lakshadweep. Defence and nuclear installations 
also favour coastal areas. 



1 .2. The Tsunami and its 
Aftermath 

Initial assessments carried out by the government 
as well as non government and inter-governmental 
agencies emerged with similar findings— rehabilitate 
natural ecosystems; natural protective measures are 
preferred to artificial physical barriers; manmade 
barriers such as seawalls fragment habitats and 
would aggravate the impacts of tsunami by creating 
turbulence. Most of these environmental assessments 
are also critical and advocate better coastal 
management and land use strategies to reduce 
vulnerability and stress on coastal ecosystems. 

It may not be possible to directly correlate the extent 
of tsunami linked damage to life and property to 
the volume of development on the coastal areas 
due to various factors in play, e.g. time of tsunami 
as this would determine daily human activity on the 
beaches, the proximity of habitats to coastline, etc. 
It may also not be possible to assess how vulnerable 
coastal ecosystems have become to natural disasters 
due to the amount of effort, technical expertise and 
time required to undertake such assessment studies. 
However, at the same time, it is possible to deduce 
how haphazard and unrestricted developments have 
rendered coastal ecosystems vulnerable to undesired 
change. This is more pronounced in the case of 
coastal states such as Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, 
which suffered maximum damage as compared to 
the other states on the coast 



Coastal ecosystems such as estuaries, mangroves, 
wetlands, coral reefs and deep seas receive less 
attention in the form of policy and legal frameworks 
as compared to terrestrial ecosystems like forests 
and mountains. This is also evident from various 
laws and policies that govern forests nationally. 
Although some these would be applicable to specific 
sub-systems of coastal areas (e.g. mangrove forests 
come under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and 
the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, a substantial 
portion of the coastal areas are to be governed by a 
single notification undertheEnvironment(Protection) 
Act, 1986 — the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 
Notification, 1991. 



The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 
1991 was conceived to be a guideline that would 
influence all types of developmental activities on the 
coast, yet it has not been fully implemented since 
its introduction a decade and a half back. There are 
numerous violations and dilutions of its philosophy, 
provisions and clauses. The Notification itself 
remains ambiguous as to its implementation (for 
e.g. the process of obtaining clearances for projects), 
although it lays down clearly what are permissible and 
non-permissible activities. Affected areas like Tamil 
Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands do not 
yet have approved Coastal Zone Management Plans; 
almost a decade has passed since the Supreme Court 
deadline was given for submission and approval of 
these Plans. Developmental projects and activities 




seem to be taking place on an ad hoc basis under 
the Notification. However, the Notification remains 
as "what a straw is to a drowning person". Over 
and above this, legislations at national or state 
level bring about policies and plans that contradict 
the principles of CRZ. In the context of tourism, it is 
important to study the wide range of lobbies that 
push for "certain kinds of developmental activities" 

Figure 1 



that will have impacts on communities, livelihoods, 
ecology and development of sustainable tourism. 
The need of the hour is to go back to the original 
philosophy of the CRZ Notification, take on board 
the contemporary challenges and rework its norms, 
provisions and regulatory measures. This study is an 
attempt in this direction. 



PATH DF TSUNAMI DN TIME SCALE &. MAGNITUDE DF IMPACT 




Source: http://www.grid. unep.ch/product/map/i 

1.3. Methdds 

The study in Tamil Nadu was carried out in three 
phases— a rapid assessment undertaken in January 
2005, a field visit in March 2005 and another field 
visit combined with consultations in November and 
December 2005. 

EQUATIONS and the Tamil Nadu Environment Council 1 
(TNEC) initially conducted a rapid assessment 
immediately after the tsunami in January 2005. 
This was done in collaboration with various NGOs, 
individuals and networks. The rapid assessment 
survey was instrumental in documenting at first level 
issues that would eventually help in understanding 
issues of coastal access, conservation and 
management in later field visits that were undertaken 
as part of the study. 

Followingthe rapid assessmentand in orderto gather 
more detailed information on impacts of the tsunami 
on coastal communities and ecosystems, primary 
data collection was carried out. This process involved 



mages/i ndianocean_propwave.gif 

field level investigations with active support of state 
level partners. The team travelled from Tiruvallur to 
Kanyakumari (excluding three districts— Thiruvarur, 
Thanjavur and Pudukkottai) including Pondicherry 
and Karaikal.The team surveyed the coastal areas and 
attempted to collect information on the following: 

1. Extent of fragmentation and degradation through 
development prior to disaster. 

2. Current status of developments, including those 
planned, post disaster. 

Field level information was collected on ecosystem 
types as well as development activities and their 
impacts. The team only made its observations during 
two visits to the affected areas. During the first visit 
the team gathered preliminary information and the 
same was followed up in the second visit where 
more detailed information was gathered based 
on discussions with the coastal communities. As 
planned the first round of visits were to Thiruvallur, 




1 Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC) is a state level network of NGOs which are working on environmental issues. The main functions of the TNEC 
is advocating on the environmental concerns in the state, it has also brought out the State of the Environment reports for the last decade. 



Chennai, Kanchipuram, Villupuram, Pondicherry 
Cuddalore, Nagapatinam, Ramanatapuram, 
Thoothukudi Tirunveli and Kanyakumari. The second 
visit included an additional of the three districts of 
Tanjavur, Thiruvarur and Pudukkottai. 

A systematic photo-documentation process was 
also undertaken. The field data that was collected 
included: 

a. Documentation of various types of coastal 
ecosystems 

b. Assessing development impacts of: 

1. Industry - categories and types, locations, 

checklist impacts 

2. Mining - sand, rare earths 

3. Aquaculture farms 

4. Tourism - hotels, resorts, parks, water theme 

parks, amusement parks 

5. Infrastructure - East Coast Road (ECR), roads, 

other facilities and amenities 

6. Artificial beach protection, and other 

infrastructure built to withstand erosion and 
storm surges 

7. Social infrastructure 

The above data was collected through observations, 
interviews, group discussions and consultative 
meetings with coastal communities, their 
representatives and civil society groups during 
November and December 2005. 

1 .4. LIMITATIONS 

The main limitation confronted by the study in Tamil 
Nadu and Pondicherry was the non availability of 
studies on specific impacts of the tsunami e.g. on 
coral reefs and mangroves. 

Our inquiry was limited to a macro level assessment 
of the ecosystems. Moreover, studies like those 
would require investments in terms of time, money 
and expertise much beyond the scope and mandate 
of the study. 



1.5. The Study Area 

Figure 2: Tamil Nadu and 
Pdndicherry 




The Tamil Nadu coast is straight and narrow without 
much indentation except at Vedaranyam. Fringing 
and patch reefs are present near Rameswaram 
and the Gulf of Mannar. Pichavaram, Vedaranyam 
and Point Calimere have well-developed mangrove 
systems. In Tamil Nadu about 46 rivers drain into 
Bay of Bengal forming several estuaries adjoining 
coastal lagoons. The Cauvery River and its tributaries 
form a large delta supporting extensive agriculture. 
The other landforms of the Tamil Nadu coast are the 
rock outcrops of Kanyakumari, mudflats, beaches, 
spits, coastal dunes and strand features. Deposition 
is observed at Point Calimere, Nagapattinam, South 
Madras, etc., while erosion is reported at Ovari 
Paravarnattam, Mahabalipuram and North Madras 
near Ennore. 




Pdndicherry 

Topographically, the Pondicherry region is flat country 
having an average elevation of about 15 meters above 
sea level, intersected by the deltaic channels of the 
rivers Gingee and Ponnaiyar and other streams 
forming the two main drainage basins, interspersed 
with lakes and tanks. To the northwest of Pondicherry 
town, a girdle of low hills (or an elevated ground of 
about 30m high) is noticed. This high ground suddenly 
emerges from the low alluvial plain country known as 
Gorimedu. This forms the most prominent feature of 
the landscape. The Gingee River crosses the region 
diagonally from the northwest to the southeast. 
Ponnaiyar forms the southern border. The alluvial 
delta of Ponnaiyar is almost on dead level ground, 
only a few meters above the sea. The coastal border 
has a length of 22 km and a breadth ranging from 
four to six hundred meters. Superficially, the coast 
is flat and sandy. The coastal zone of Pondicherry 
comprises newer and older dunes including saline 
areas of clayey texture. The other zone is made up 
of the two plateaux - Pondicherry plateau and the 
Thiruvakkarai plateau. 

Karaikal, which forms a part of the fertile Cauveri 
delta the region, is completely covered by the 
distributaries of the Cauveri. Covered completely by a 
thick mantle of alluvium of variable thickness, the lie 
of the land is flat having a gentle slope towards the 
Bay of Bengal in the east. It is limited on the north by 
the Nandalar and on the southeast by the Vettar. The 
group of rocks known as the Cuddalore formations is 
met with in the area contiguous to the Karaikal region 
in Nagappattinam District 2 . 



! http://karaikal.nic.in/Administration/General/General.htm 




PART 2 



DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES AND IMPACTS 



The state of Tamil Nadu is gifted with a beautiful 
and resource rich coastline. The lives of 7.60 lakhs 
marine fishermen and several thousands who are 
employed in allied activities depend on the health of 
the coast. So the effective management of the coast 
is by no means only a social and environmental issue 
but has economic relevance too. The significance of 
coastal ecosystem constituents in protecting coastal 
habitats and communities is clearly explained by 
the manner in which the impacts of the tsunami 
were felt in different parts of coastal Tamil Nadu and 
Pondicherry. Factors such as the alteration of the 
coastal landscape by siting of development projects 
and the degree of human intervention on the coast, 
which resulted in the loss of mangroves, sand 
dunes, etc. the type of construction on the coast, 
and increasing urbanisation along the coast have 
influenced the extent of tsunami causalities. 

A district-wise overview of some of the development 
projects that exist along the coast and the impacts 
they have had and continue to have on the coastal 
ecosystem is presented below. A summary of 
development activities is also provided in Table 1. 

2.1. Thiruvallur 

Pulicat lake, the Ennore creek, backwaters, 
Buckingham canal and salt marshes are linked with 
one another to form a part of a coastal ecosystem that 
is fragile and sensitive. The impact on any one of these 
water bodies will have an adverse effect on the entire 
ecosystem. The Pulicat lake was identified as a site of 
international importance by the International Union 
for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The area used 
to have rich mangroves but due to industrialisation 
these have been degraded. Pollution from pesticides, 
sewage, agricultural chemicals and industrial 
effluents are the major threats. The Arani and Kalangi 
rivers draining into the lake bring in fertilisers and 
pesticides with runoff from the agricultural fields in 
the drainage basin. Domestic sewage also enters the 
lake. The lake is thus being increasingly subjected to 
many kinds of anthropogenic disturbances. The Tamil 
Nadu Pollution Control Board Laboratories, Alkali 
Industries, Ashok Leyland and other automobile 
industries are located along the coast in Thiruvallur 
district. Part of the lake is in Andhra Pradesh. 



The left side of Ennore Express way has several 
industries including the Madras Thermal Power 
station (MTPS), boulders and groynes were laid along 
a continuous stretch till the power plant area. This 
has resulted in sea erosion of the adjacent villages, 
especially at the villages located north of the power 
plant. Groynes 3 and sea walls constructed near 
Ennore and the boulder wall of 3.3m heightand 2.3m 
width opposite the Coromandel Cement Factory at 
Ennore also aggravated the impact of the tsunami 
over the coastal communities living nearby 
(Plate #1). 

The power plant is a major cause of pollution of the 
lake as it discharges fly ash and hot water into the 
lake directly. The hot coolant water released by the 
MTPS is damaging the Pulicat ecosystem (Coastal 
Action Network, 2004 4 ). But the locals say that the 
government has not given any attention to this 
issue. 

The Ennore port has further aggravated the erosion 
problem by inducing it further north. The local people 
have said that it is a major cause for sea erosion in this 
area and the sea had come in about 500m and had 
completely wiped out two streets in Sattan kuppam. 
In Korrai Kuppam the community well was lost. Hence 
a sea wall is being built in north of Chennai to check 
these coastal problems (Plate #2). The strip of land 
between the Bay of Bengal and Pulicat Lake faces 
severe sea erosion. An elderly shopkeeper in Korai 
Kuppam said that the sea used to be a mile away 
from his shop, but now it is very close. 

The beach here used to have a lot of vegetation and 
sand dunes. Some villagers said that casuarinas were 
found allalongthe beach. But in recent years, private 
landowners have removed them. People shared that 
in the last 20 years, coconut trees, casuarina forests 
and huge sand dunes had decreased as they were 
wiped out by sea erosion. The original mangrove 
forests have been steadily cleared to establish salt 
pans (Plate #3). Added to this is the problem of 
chemically treated residual water that is let out of the 
adjacent shrimp farms and remains in small pond- 
like configurations in the middle of the degraded 
mangroves. 



3 groyne - a protective structure of stone or concrete; extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away, 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Groynes 
* Coastal Action Network, 2004. "Protection of Coastal Ecology and Coastal Communities - Issues and Concerns", Nagapattinam. 




2.2. Chennai 



The Chennai coastal stretch used to be characterised 
by fine sandy beaches, and fishing settlements 
interrupted by backwaters, casuarinas and coconut 
groves. Even though the coastal stretch of Chennai is 
short, this is the most densely populated part of the 
coast. The beach of the southern stretch in Chennai 
is broad and here human intervention is very high 
due to high population densities in the coastal 
communities. These parts have already witnessed a 
high degree of urbanisation, for instance even the 
settlements of the fishermen are multi-storeyed. In 
Sulerikadu a high-rise building with a hatchery is 
located along the East Coast Road (Plate #4). Another 
is the Devanery housing complex beyond Elanthopu 
that is located less than 50m from the HTL (Plate #5). 
The land between Chennai and Kancheepuram is 
premium real estate and this trend will only grow as 
several IT companies and an international airport are 
poised to come up along the coast. 

In Manali, effluent discharge pipes extend right up 
to the sea and dump industrial effluents (See Box 1 
for more details), while the location of the industries 
themselves may not be a violation of CRZ norms. 
Industries along Uppannar river in Cuddalore are 
dumping their effluents into the river. This and several 
other observations about the pollution caused by the 
industrial units in Manali have been made by the 
Local Area Environment Committee (LAEC) 5 . 
Existing chemical industries have been contributing 
immensely to the pollution loads in the coastal 
areas of Chennai. Major industries like Hindustan 
Teleprinters, Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, 
Madras Surgical Instruments, Britannia and numerous 
industries engaged in electroplating, battery and 
electrical goods manufacturing, chemical, textile 
industries, pigment colouring, paint manufacturing 
industries, automobile spare parts manufacturing 
units, private hospitals and government institutions, 



slaughter houses, crematorium and graveyards 
are located along the Adyar and Coovum (Chennai) 
estuaries and foreshore coastal belts. In and around 
Tondiarpet, the Chennai port and polluting seafood 
export industries are also located. 

Landscaping is yet another major activity carried out 
by the government for putting up recreation facilities. 
The Marina beach has witnessed considerable 
landscaping. The northern stretch towards Ennore 
has very little beach and in most of these areas, 
groynes were laid much before the tsunami and the 
same continues even now. 

The Chennai stretch towards Mamallapuram has 
casuarina groves, coconut groves, and aquifers 
near Neelangarai and Kapaleshwar Nagar. But these 
are likely to disappear soon as these areas are fast 
developing into farmhouses of film personalities 
and politicians. Farmhouses located between 
Periyanemmeli and Pattipulam along the ECR on the 
seaward side have their compound wall extending 
right up to the sea front. Many guesthouses and 
resorts like Buena Vista have come up within 60m 
from the HTL. Some of the casuarina groves have 
been destroyed by the tsunami. 

Several shrimp farms and jellyfish processing units 
are also located along this coast. Many of them 
are barely 100m away from the sea. Along the ECR 
too, a number of prawn farms and hatcheries have 
come up and many of these are within the 500m of 
the CRZ. Some are even located along rivers and 
creeks. There are more than 50 shrimp hatcheries 
functioning between Chennai and Mamallapuram. 
These hatcheries are highly destructive, as they 
increase the salinity of the ground water and make the 
surrounding land barren, unfit for any cultivation. 



BDX 1 

The Manali Industrial Area 



Manali, situated 25 km north of Chennai along the coast and lies en route to the Ennore port, is a notified critical 
industrial complex. The 800-hectare industrial area is home to several large and medium-scale industries and undefined 
number of small-scale industries. 14 of the major industries belong to the 'Red' category. The "parent" company 
Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (CPCL) supplies products and by-products to the downstream companies situated 
in the area. Manali industrial area, 25 km away from Chennai city is a notified critical industrial complex because of the 
existence of a petroleum refinery, down stream petrochemicals, fertiliser and chemical industries. It is spread over an 
area of 800 hectares. There are 14 major industries located in the complex. With CPCL as the Parent Company, most of 
these industries obtain raw material from CPCL. The areas of concern for the local people have been the accumulated 
waste discharged in unauthorised areas, ground water deterioration, handling/disposal of wastes through agents and 
poor ambient air quality due to flares and fugitive emissions. 




5 Relying upon paragraph 55 ofthe apex court order dated 14.10.2003 which requires the involvement of alert and informed members of the community 
in the task of environment protection, the SCMC constituted Local Area Environment Committee (LAEC) for Delhi, Maharastra, Kerala, Bhopal, and 
Hyderabad. For Tamil Nadu, the SCMC constituted LAECs for SIPCOT Industrial Estate, Cuddalore and surrounding area, Manali Industrial Area, Chennai 
and surrounding and for M/s. Hindustan Lever Ltd., Kodaikanal to assist the SCMC with the enormous task of ensuring that the orders ofthe Supreme 
Court dated 14.10.2003 are implemented in letter and spirit in the state. 



2.3. Kancheepuram 

The Kancheepuram coast has witnessed a ongoing 
landscape change during 2003 - 2005 due to 
unregulated development of tourist facilities and 
structures. Facilities like that of the Jambodai and 
MGM resorts have occupied prime space along the 
coast from the sea front. The facility, especially the 
building, discotheque and a lawn coveringthe beach 
has been built at the cost of coconut plantations that 
were destroyed for this purpose. The most serious 
impact has been the loss of access for the local fisher 
folk to the beachfront and the sea all through this 
stretch. There is also noise pollution mainly due to 
the pumps and during periods of high tourist activity. 
The MGM Restaurant occupies a space within 75 
metres of the coast in Kovalam. Sangrila- Dolphin 
City is an entertainment space that used dolphins 
and seals to attract people and is located within 50 m 
of the HTL; but it has been closed down. Incidentally, 
the compound wall of Dolphin city was damaged by 
the waves during the tsunami. In Mamallapuram, 
Fisherman's Cove is located within the CRZ. Inside 
Mamallapuram, near the Shore Temple, inundation 
due to naturalfactors has been high and there are walls 
made up of boulders. In the name of tourism, a lot of 
artificial landscaping on the beach by use of granite 
slabs and Mexican grass has been undertaken (Plate 
# 6), a private handicraft shop is being established 
within 200m of HTL. A religious institution, Sri 
Narayana Gurukulam and Dhyana Nilayam (a multi- 
denominational Christian institution) have been 
constructed within 50m of the HTL. 

Pattipulam is a stretch that was originally covered with 
Casurina groves. This area has now been converted 
into private resorts and cottages. Silver Sea Beach, 
a unit of Mayajal has constructed cottages starting 
from the ECR right upto the sea front. A resort named 
ABC Baywatch has been set up with many private 
villas constructed within 100-200 m from the HTL 
in Periyanelli, a fishing hamlet with more than 300 
families. The first three rows of houses facing the 
seafront were damaged by the tsunami. 

In Kanathur, the sea front marginally elevated. In this 
area, four hatcheries are in operation within the 60 m 
of the HTL. The tsunami has caused some damages to 
the hatcheries Some of the hatcheries that are located 
in the CRZ are K.R. Hatchery, Surendra Hatchery, 
Royal Hatchery and Aana Nova Hatchery. The Maruti 
Aqua Hatchery is in operation within 50 m of HTL in 
Sadurangapattinam. Matha Hatchery was seen to 
be operating within 100 m of the HTL. DJ Hatchery, 



located at about 75 m from the HTL is in operation 
in Kovalam (Plate #7). Local people say that the 
hatchery has a motor pump that was installed on the 
beach for pumping in water as well as discharging the 
processed water. Raj Hatcheries was found located 
along the side of the creek. The hamlet of Meyyur 
kuppam has been affected due to the pollution from 
two hatcheries, Vivek Hatchery and Aqua Hatchery, 
which have been functioning within 50m of the HTL. 

In Vembalur area in this district, private plantations 
dominate the entire coastal landscape. There is a 
danger of these being converted into real estate 
plots and used for economic activity in the future. 

2.4. VlLLUPURAM 

There are casuarina plantations in this stretch; 
eucalyptus plantations here are maintained by the 
local forest office in the Agaram area. 

Mining and quarrying activities were observed at 
Kottai Kadu in Villupuram district. In Perunduraiyur 
and Odiyur, many shrimp hatcheries were seen to 
be operating. From Naravakkam to Eggiyarkuppam, 
aquaculture activities are being carried out, the 
prominent operating unit being Calypso Aquatech 
Shrimp Hatchery. Ventura Hatchery is in operation 
in Keezhkuppam and Oceanic shrimp hatchery is in 
operation in Alapakkam. Shrimp farming activities 
such as those by BMR Shrimp Hatchery, are being 
carried out in Anumanthai (Plate #8). 

2.5. PDNDICHERRY AND 
KARAIKAL 

The coastal stretch in Pondicherry is flat and at an 
elevation of about 15 meters. Red sandy beaches, 
sand dunes and casuarina groves are found along 
the coast of Pondicherry especially in places such 
as Kooraimedu kuppam, Anumanthai and Othiyoor. 
The northern part of Pondicherry has better coastal 
vegetation than the southern part. But in Karaikal 
area, especially in Vadakku Amman Koil Pathu, dense 
casuarina groves were uprooted for urbanising the 
coast and these areas were converted into real estate 
plots. This has lead to the inundation of water into 
the land for more than a kilometre and has seriously 
affected the quality of agricultural land. Several 
educational institutions here occupy the coastal 
areas. 

A lot of constructions have been undertaken in these 
parts by levelling the sand dunes. Local people say 




that this has been done because they are left with no 
other option when the populations increase in their 
area. The tsunami affected the places where the sand 
dunes were levelled and construction workwas carried 
out. In places where the sand dunes and the thaazhai 
(Pandanus) are present the damage is comparatively 
less. In the two villages near Vadakuammankoilpathu 
in Karaikal, where huge sand dunes, casuarinas, 
palm trees and grasses are present, the water did not 
enterthe land and therefore there were no casualties 
due to the tsunami here. 

There is a great deal of tourism related development 
activity and government constructions that have taken 
place along the Pondicherry coast (Plate #9). Several 
of these need to be inspected for violation of siting 
norms - Ranganathapuram Gardens, Manjakuppam, 
Hollywood Farm Beach Resort and Hotel Pondicherry 
Ashokand Periya Kalapet. 

Many concrete buildings have been constructed at 
a distance less than 70 m from the HTL. James Court 
Resort is located less than 60m from the HTL. The 
Pondicherry University Guest House, Pillaichavadi is 
also located very close to the sea. 

Some hatcheries such as Sona Hatchery, Best Marine 
Harvest and Rank Marine Hatchery in Koonimedu 
area are operational along the coast. 

2.6. CUDDALDRE 

Cuddalore faces the severe problem of pollution 
from pesticides, sewage, agricultural chemicals and 
industrial effluents. The State Industries promotion 
Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) Industrial complex 
covering an area of 516 acres is located in Cuddalore. 
The units located within this complex pollute the 
ground and surface water. The pollution has impacted 
the availability of fishes. In Sothikuppam, it has 
been noted that these industries have also polluted 
drinking water (Plate #10). 

The Local Areas Environment Committee (LAEC) in 
Cuddalore has identified air and water pollution due 
to effluent discharge and dumping of hazardous waste 
and health hazards due to these and issues about 
the illegalities by units operating without necessary 
permissions as critical issues to address. 

On Feb 25, 2005 the LAEC sent a letter to the National 
Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA) 
regarding the location of a unit within the CRZ in 
SIPCOT. Members of the TNPCB did a verification 



of the unit's distance from River Uppanar, and a 
final report is awaited. Some units have also been 
found expanding capacity and production without 
the necessary clearances from state and central 
government authorities. 

Cuddalore has become a hotspot for shrimp farming 
and hatcheries. In many cases, these units are not 
locally owned; therefore the local population does 
notderive much income from them. Some of the local 
communities have been against these farms and 
hatcheries and they have also successfully resisted 
the establishment of some of the units. But in some 
villages south of Puddupattinam, local farmers and 
fishermen have leased land to shrimp farms and in 
some cases run their own such units. 

In Periyakuppam, shrimp farms are located on the 
western side of the estuary. These farms that have 
come up on good agricultural land have replaced 
coconut groves and mango plantations. Agricultural 
farmers complain of saline intrusion but their mouths 
are sealed by the generous contributions of money 
by these farmers to the local festivals and other 
community functions. There are nearly 30-40 shrimp 
ponds here. 

There are three Kuppams near Cuddalore— 
Chinakuppam, Periya Kuppam and Aazhikuppam. 
These villages are contiguous with the Palar River 
estuary and have a good source of fresh water. 
In Aazhikuppam people shared that due to the 
pumping of water from the estuary to the shrimp 
ponds, the water level of the estuary has dropped 
drastically and has affected traditional fishing in 
this area. There is no opportunity to do traditional 
shrimp farming because of the opposition from the 
intensive shrimp farmers. There is a half finished 
abandoned permanent structure that is supposed 
to be shrimp hatchery supposed to be owned by a 
Pune businessman, but stopped due to the denial 
of a loan by the bank. Apparently this was because 
the hatchery was to be located only 50 m from the 
seacoast. There are jellyfish holding tanks, which 
are operated by the locals to supplement their 
livelihood. 

Severalareas on this coastal stretch that are very fertile 
with fresh water ponds and good vegetation have 
been sold as real estate plots for future construction. 
Happy Bay is a farmhouse that has already come up 
at Thinnapattinam. Other commercial farmhouses 
are Sea Breeze, Vishvasamudhra, etc. Some of 




these constructions have been erected within 50m 
of the HTL. Some casurina plantations still occur 
at the seafront forming a barricade. But with all the 
proposed development, it is unlikely that they will 
remain. 

2.7. Nagapattinam 

Nagapattinam is one of the cyclone prone areas in 
Tamil Nadu. Nagapattinam, Keelvelur, Vedaranyam, 
Taranagambadi (Tranquebar) and Seerkazhi, are the 
five taluks and each has its own coastal eco systems. 
Seerkazhi taluk has wetlands; Vedaranyam taluk is 
rich in mangroves, tropical forests and wetlands. 
Keelvelur taluk has rich coastal vegetation and sand 
dunes. 

Nagapattinam has witnessed a number of losses due 
to a series of cyclone storms in the past. During the 
Rapid Assessment survey carried out prior to this 
Coastal Area Assessment by EQUATIONS and TNEC, 
the village elders in Keechankuppam recalled that 
there were huge sand dunes which acted as a natural 
barrier to the coast and the coastal community, but 
these were fully washed away in a cyclonic storm in 
the 1960s. Many of the villages around Nagapattinam 
have levelled the sand dunes for the construction of 
houses. Due to such unplanned and unregulated 
constructions natural barriers are no longer present. 

In Keelvelur taluk, the coastal vegetation is good. 
South Poigainallur, a village south of Velankanni 
sets a positive example, as the local communities 
are involved in protecting the coastal vegetation for 
several years. This has yielded in conservation of 
coastal plantations and it also saved the people from 
the impacts of the tsunami (See Box 2 & plate #11). 
In areas south of Serudoor, sand binders were 
present earlier but these have been affected due 
to human intervention. Three huge sand dunes 
which existed adjacent to the river got washed away 
because the artificial diversion of river Upparu away 
from the Velankani beach. Groynes were laid near the 
estuaries. The objective of these interventions was 
to broaden the beach at Velankani to accommodate 
the huge number of tourists who visited the church. 
This disrupted the smooth functioning of the coastal 
ecosystem. 



The number of deaths in Vedaranyam is comparatively 
less because the population is less; a primary reason 
for this could also be because this is an area, which 
has a rich coastal ecosystem. 

In Point Calimere, where the forests and sand dunes 
had been left intact, they acted as a natural barrier 
against the tsunami. However, in some of the areas 
fishermen from other districts, who come for the 
monsoon catch, had levelled the sand dunes and put 
up tents. Such modifications on the ecosystem did 
result in the loss of 20 to 30 lives after the tsunami. 

In Tarangambadi and Seerkazhi, the major destructive 
factor was the presence of saltpans and aquaculture 
farms. Shrimp industries accelerated the impact of 
the tsunami in the villages, which lies in the delta 
region. Aquaculture and saltpans pose a major 
threat to the fragile ecosystem of Nagapattinam as 
they have replaced the wetlands of this region. 

In Tarangampadi, there is a governor's bungalow 
opposite to the Dutch fort that has been converted 
to a hotel by the Neemrana Group named "bungalow 
on the beach" - (Plate #13). This structure is old and 
is very close to the beach. Extension activities, like 
construction of a dormitory (Plate #14) have also 
been undertaken here. 

In Upparu, near Keechankuppam, in Nagapattinam 
district, a sea wall was constructed to prevent 
sea erosion. Earlier it was the sand dunes, which 
protected from sea erosion and facilitated the 
natural ecosystem and the estuaries to play their role 
effectively. The construction of sea walls however 
fragmented the coastal ecosystem and aggravated 
the force of the sea. Even this artificial barrier was 
dislocated by the tsunami and the same time it 
accelerated the effect of tsunami over area. 



Even after the tsunami, for the purpose of 
reconstruction, sand mining is being done from the 
beach. (Plate #12), Sand is also being mined from 
Kallar river near Nagapattinam to rebuild roads. 




BDX 2 

Sand Dunes df Sduth Pdigainallur (PRAXIS, 2DD5) 



South Poigainallur is very well known for its sand dunes along the seashore. The dunes which range in height from 
30-40 feet start at a distance of 15 metres from the sea. The dunes start at the northern side of South Poigainallur near 
Kallar, which is 1 /- km from South Poigainallur and ends nearVailankanni (near Pookara street) and extends to a length 
of 6.5 km. 

According to the local residents, these sand dunes were formed about 500 years ago, when sand was dug to construct 
a port at Nagapattinam. The sand that was dug out was kept along the shore. The sand accumulated and formed into 
dunes in due course. Even now, sand piles up on the dunes through the day adding to the height. 

From the sand dunes to the Public Works Department (PWD) Canal are lowlands, which are yi km in length, on the 
eastern side of South Poigainallur. From the PWD Canal to the Paravai road, there are high lands. The village has a radius 
of about 30 kilometres. In the lowlands, paddy, groundnut and vegetables are cultivated. On the high lands, palm, 
mango, )ambalona and Bhir trees are cultivated. The total extent of land in the village is about 660 ha. From the Paravai 
Main Road there are 17 streets inside the village to the extent of 13.20 km. 

Formation and maintenance of sand dunes: When the Gounders settled on the seashore of South Poigainallur during 
the 13th century, they practiced agriculture as their livelihood. Agriculture has hence been the traditional occupation 
of people in the area. They cultivated local species of paddy such as Koduvalai, Kadampalai, Garudan Samba and 
vegetables such as brinjal, ladies fingers, cluster beans and greens with the help of groundwater that is available in 
village ponds that are at a depth of 8 toio feet. 

In order to protect crops from the waves and check soil erosion, the people erected fences using palm leaves along the 
seashore and planted palm trees along the fence. The farmers have patta lands 100 meters from the seashore. The high 
tides brought sand to the shore carried on the waves, which was then cast along the fencing lines along the seashore. 

The palm trees on the fencing lines prevented soil erosion and sand casting onto the agriculture fields. Moreover, during 
the season of the North winds (Winter season - November to December), a lot of sand accumulates on the seashore. 
This is how the famous sand dunes of South Poigainallur were formed along the fencing lines of agricultural lands on 
the seashore. 

Since sand is carried easily by the wind, the accumulation has been easy and the height of the dunes has grown over 
time. 500 years ago, the height of the sand dunes was only 5-10 feet, whilst now it is 30-40 feet. 

Protection of sand dunes by the people: The height of the dunes has been increasing year after year. The farmers have 
planted palm trees, created casuarinas plantations, bamboo and Alexandria lauri (Punnai) on the sand dunes to check 
soil erosion. In the year 2001, some outsiders started digging sand from the sand dunes for construction purposes. 
The landowners resisted the outsiders and prevented the digging of sand from the sand dunes by presenting a united 
front. 

People's perception of the sand dunes: The sand dunes have been formed on the fencing lines of agriculture fields over 
a number of years due to the accumulation of sand carried by the winds. Since sand dunes have been formed on patta 
lands owned by the farmers, the farmers have not allowed outsiders to dig sand in their land and this has facilitated the 
process of formation of sand dunes over the years. 

The people believe that the sand dunes have protected them from natural disasters such as cyclones and high tides. The 
dunes have in fact been largely responsible for minimising the number of deaths in the village. After the tsunami, the 
Panchayat passed a resolution to protect the sand dunes and banned outsiders digging sand from the sand dunes. 




2.S. Thiruvarur 

Thiruvarur district faced the threat to coastal 
ecosystem even before the tsunami in the form of 
massive growth of shrimp industries, in spite of lot of 
struggles by the local communities and panchayat. 
The shrimp farms around Sengangadu and Muthupet 
have affected the mangroves to a great extent. The 
chemicals used in the shrimp industries have spoiled 
the agricultural land (Plate #15) and this affects fresh 
water available. 



BDX 3 



The local community and the Thillai Valagam Panchayat 
President has highlighted the massive development of 
shrimp industries, 100 acres of prawn farms which also 
comes under CRZ I; they have also highlighted that if the 
mangrove forests are not there, there is no possibility 
offish being available in the area. Muthupet is known 
for its mangroves, lagoons and this becoming one of the 
major tourism attractions of the district. 

Further the local community has expressed their 
displeasure over the denial of access to them over the 
area by the Tourism and Forest Department. They say that 
they are not allowed to camp over night to pursue their 
traditional methods of fishing in the lagoon. The reason 
they cite is that the tourism department does not want 
them to be around when the tourists are getting an aerial 
view of the mangroves from the towers. In addition to this 
each fisher folk union has to pay the Forest department 
an annual lease amount of 40,000 per year for fishing 
rights in that area. The local communities have now filed 
a case and are awaiting the judgement. 



2.11. Ramanathapuram 

Ramanathapuram district has rich coastal bio 
diversity and unique coral reefs found in the Gulf of 
Mannar region on one part of its coast. On the other 
side is the Palk Bay and its 21 islands that provide 
some cover to the Ramanathapuram coast. 

There are not many development activities along 
the coast of this district. Since the Gulf of Mannar 
Biosphere is a Protected Area (PA) under the Forest 
Department, most anthropogenic activities here 
are prohibited; the coral reefs are in a relatively 
good condition. Several fishing and other coastal 
communities are denied access to this area after it 
was declared a protected area. 

Currently, the proposed Sethusamudram Shipping 
Canal Project (SSCP) is the major threat to the coastal 
ecosystem (See Box 3). Civil society groups and local 
communities who are part of a movement against 
this project state that the project if realised will 
affect over seventy thousand families (Coastal Action 
Network Report). It was also learnt from the coastal 
communities herethata lotofchanges inside the sea 
have taken place after the tsunami and in many low- 
lying areas sand-spits have been formed. 



2.9. Tanjavur 

The main activity that is impacting the coastal areas 
of Tanjavur district is numerous aquaculture farms 
and saltpans that come up along the coast (Plate 
#16). There are no other developmental activities; 
one tourism project "Manohara" seems to have not 
taken off. 

2. ID. PUDUKDTTAI 

Similar to that of Tanjavur, Pudukottai has also 
witnessed large-scale development of aquaculture 
farms (Plate #17). There are traces of mangroves 
in many parts of the district but these have been 
severely affected by chemical wastes from the 
aquaculture farms. 




BDX 4 

The Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Prdject 



Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) plans to develop an offshore shipping channel which is 167 km long 
passing through the Gulf of Mannar, the Palk Strait and the Palk Bay. It involves dredging in an area 89 km long, 300 m 
wide and to a depth of 12 m. 

It has been claimed that the Canal would cut short the distance (not time) for ships navigating between the west and east 
coasts of India, by avoiding the circumnavigation of Sri Lanka. In the proposed route, ships would navigate through the 
Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay and enter the Bay of Bengal directly, thereby reducing by about 500 km, the distance 
covered by ships travelling between India's east and west coasts. 

The problem with the project is that during the construction/dredging along the canal itself several species especially 
seabed fauna (including protected species like corals, sea fans, sea cucumbers, etc.) will be lost. This is admitted by the 
Tuticorin Port Trust in their studies and EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment). Furthermore, the project is designed 
based on a incomplete EIA with many aspects not studied at all (such as sediment transport and hydrodynamic studies). 
The studies that were done were all rapid assessment studies based on 3 months primary data making the EIA suspect. 
For a project of this nature the EIA study should have been a comprehensive EIA (i.e. based on long term primary data). 

The result is an environmentally flawed project, which will affect the local ecology of the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay. 
The sediment from the dredging will affect the coral reef ecosystem and the overall productivity of the region thus 
affecting the fisheries and livelihoods of over seventy thousand families. The Canal and the dredge/dumping of dredge 
will amplify the possible impacts and vulnerability due to natural phenomenon such as tsunami and cyclones. 



2. 1 2. Thddthukudi 

The Thoothukudi district coast witnesses massive 
development activities along the coast. Chemical 
industries, salt industries, power plants and sand 
mining play a vital role in impacting the coastal 
ecosystem (Plate #18). The wastages from the power 
plant are dumped into the sea as a fly ash and this 
results in the less catch of fishes. The construction of 
sea wall by the Thoothukudi port increases turbidity, 
and even though it is claimed that it prevents 
sea erosion in Thoothukudi it is observed to have 
increased sea erosion in Kanyakumari very highly 6 . 
The wastages from the Darangathara Chemical Works 
have hugely affected the traces of mangroves in 
Punnakayal area. In addition to this there is a trend 
of emerging destinations, for example, places near 
the Tuticorin port trust, Roche park, Raj park (near 
camp) are all developing as a recreational spots 
for people in Thoothukudi. The local fishermen are 
denied access to dry fishes near places like Raj Park. 
Sethusamudram Shipping Canal project emerges 
as a major threat to the livelihood of the fishermen, 
Sandminingin Periyathazhai and the near by stretches 
poses a major threat to the ecosystem. Prawn farms 
and saltpans are the other major violators of the 
coastal ecosystem. 




2. 1 3. TlRUNELVELI AND 

Kanyakumari 

The southern districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari 
do not have much coastal vegetation. These coasts 
have an abundance of rare stones and rare earths 
like garnet and titanium and other radioactive sand 
minerals the end product of which is thorium. In 
Tirunelveli, mining for sand and rare earths takes 
place in Kuttapulli, Perumanal, Kuthankuzhi and 
Uvari. 

In Mela Manakudi (Kanyakumari district) the mining 
for sandstone and sand has made the beach 
vulnerable to erosion (Plate #19). Sand mining is a 
common phenomenon in these districts. The tsunami 
entered areas such as Periavilai, Chinnavilai and 
Manavalakurichi where rare earth sand mining was 
done earlier and after sand mining separation, the 
unwanted sands were dumped. Melamanakudi in 
Kanyakumari districts set an example of violating the 
coastal zone norms and it is one of the worst affected 
places by the tsunami in the district. Sand mining is 
taking place as close as 50m of high tide line. Local 
communities are of the opinion that sand mining 
aggravated the impacts of the tsunami. 

The study team observed that the road constructed 
in Melamanakudi is very close the sea (probably 
less than 50m from the HTL). The bridge between 

' Extract from the study done by Dr.Victor Rajamanickam, a professor of coastal geomorphology and mineralogy and HOD of Dept of Disaster Management 
- SASTRA - Deemed University Tanjavur 



Keelamanakudi and Melamanakudi had an impact 
on the coastal ecosystem. During the tsunami, the 
mouth of the Manakudy estuary, which is bereft of 
any mangroves, bore the impact ofthe tsunami due to 
which the connecting bridge was broken and carried 
far into the river. A little further away mangrove 
stretches alongthe estuary prevented much damage. 
The collapse of the bridge as a result of the tsunami 
caused several deaths in Melamanakudi. 

Similar to that of Cuddalore district Kanyakumari 
district the district administration is intensifying 
development of beach tourism. The renovation of 
tsunami damaged infrastructure and construction of 
new infrastructure for beach tourism was expedited 
as compared to the rehabilitation of tsunami affected 
people. In Sothavilai and Kanyakumari the beach 
has been levelled and play materials erected. In 
the post tsunami the state government and tourism 
departments have given a major thrust to the 
development of tourism in Kanyakumari. The state 



government has allotted Rs 9.56 crore to promote 
tourism activities in the district 7 ; similarly the district 
administration has spent Rs 4 crore to provide 
infrastructure facilities for the tsunami -hit tourism 
spots in Kanyakumari districts (Plate #20). 

Numerous amusement parks are the other major 
activities on the beaches of Kanyakumari: Baywatch 
amusement park on the Kovalam road in Kanyakumari 
has setup its operation for receiving 4000 visitors 
per day. Apart from this, elevated structures have 
been constructed by levelling sand dunes in order to 
have an elevated area to watch the sunrise and sun 
set, which is a prime tourist attraction and a popular 
activity for tourists. 

Kanyakumari and Sothavilai are both beach tourism 
areas. Here the Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu 
has levelled the sand dunes and has converted it into 
a play area with slides, bars and other structures. This 
has resulted in a change in the coastal landscape. 



Table 1 
Summary df developmental activities in Tamil Nadu and Pdndicherry 



ND 


DISTRICT 


PLACE 


PREVALENT ACTIVITIES 


1. 


Tiruvallur 


Pulicat 


Industrialisation, salt pans, atomic power station 


2. 


Chennai 


Rayapuram 


Groins, sea walls 


3- 


Kancheepuram 


Chennai suburban areas to 
Kancheepuram 


Tourism (resorts), aquaculture, urbanisation 


4- 


Villupuram 


Marakkanam 


Saltpans, aquaculture 


5- 


Pondicherry 


Pondicherry 


Tourism 


6. 


Cuddalore 


Cuddalore 


Industrialisation, tourism, aquaculture 


7- 


Karaikal 


North Ammanpathu 


Urbanization 


8. 


Nagapattinam 


Nagapattinam, Velankanni 


Destruction of sand dunes, aquaculture, tourism 


9- 


Tiruvarur, 
Thanjavur 


Point Calimere, Muthupet 


Degradation of mangroves, deforestation, salt pans, 
aquaculture 


10. 


Pudukottai 


Pudukottai 


Aquaculture farms 


11. 


Ramnathapuram 


Rameshwaram 


Tourism, aquaculture, salt pans 


12. 


Thoothukudi 


Thoothukudi 


Industrialisation, salt pans, degradation of mangroves 


13- 


Tirunelveli 


Kootapuli 


Sand mining 


14. 


Kanyakumari 


Muttom, Kanyakumari 


Sand mining, leveling of sand dunes, tourism 



'http://www.hindu.com/2006/ol/03/stories/2006010309490300.htm 




Figure 3: Summary df tsunami impacts <Sc developmental activities in Tamil 
Nadu <Sc Pdndicherry 



urban 

■ 

tourism 
* 

aquaculture 

■ 

industry 
mining 








Name df District 


Population Affected 


Thiruvallur 


15,600 


Chennai 


73,000 


Kancheepuram 


100,000 


Villupuram 


78,240 


Pondicherry 


43.432 


Cuddalore 


99.704 


Nagapattinam 


196,184 


Thiruvarur 





Tanjavur 


29278 


Pudukkottai 


66,350 


Ramanathapuram 





Thootukudi 


110,610 


Tirunelveli 


27.948 


Kanyakumari 


187,650 




PART 3 



COASTAL TOURISM IN TAMIL NADU & PONDICHERRY 



Tamil Nadu has promoted its cultural heritage and 
naturalbeauty.indudingits beaches. Themajorcoastal 
tourism destinations are Chennai, Mamallapuram, 
Velankanni, Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari. These 
areas have witnessed large-scale development of 
tourism infrastructure. A spill over effect is visible in 
other coastal areas of Tamil Nadu where new areas 
are being earmarked for coastal tourism. At the same 
time the aforementioned destinations are being 
expanded with more infrastructures. The new areas 
that are being included as coastal tourism areas are 
Pulicat Lake, Cuddalore, Pichavaram, Tarangambadi, 
Point Calimere, Muthupet, Thootukudi and adjoining 
areas in Kanyakumari like Sothivalai 8 . 

The tourism policy note of 2005-2006 of the 
Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu 
states that in recent years, tourism has become a 
priority sector in the State. This, it says, is reflected in 
higher budget allocations, growingpartnership efforts 
between the public and private sectors, increased 
tourist arrivals, vibrant and vigorous promotion 
efforts, etc. The emphasis is laid on making tourism 
a mass movement and a prime mover for promoting 
entrepreneurship, poverty reduction and economic 
development. 

Pondicherry is a popular tourist destination with both 
domestic and foreign tourists. Having previously 
been a French colony, the history and culture of 
Pondicherry are its prime attractions. Consequently 
the Union Territory has geared itself in capitalising on 
its uniqueness. 



3.1. Status df Tdurism 
aldng the cdast df tamil 
Nadu and Pdndicherry 

3.1.1. Pulicat Lake 

It is known for its fine beaches, bird sanctuary and 
backwaters. It is popular with domestic tourists who 
visit this area during the day. A few foreign tourists 
also come to this area. Therefore the kind of tourism 
development seen here is mostly shops, restaurants 
and transportation facilities, with very few lodging 
facilities. As with many tourism areas that receive 
high number of day visitors, the main problems seen 
here are construction of tourism related facilities in 
close proximity of the coast and proliferation of non- 
biodegradable wastes like plastics. 

3. 1 .2. Chennai 

The coastal stretch of Chennai is short; this is the 
most densely populated part of the coast. The beach 
of the southern stretch in Chennai is broad and here 
human activity is very high. The Marina beach is used 
by people of the city of Chennai, domestic and foreign 
tourists. The beach has been slowly expanded in 
all directions and addition of new developments to 
enhance the infrastructure is a perpetual activity with 
the government departments. Exceptforthe sand and 
the sea, the beach has lost all its natural features. 
Some of the infrastructure that is put up on the beach 
are lamp posts, roads, benches, platforms, statues of 
prominent political personalities, hoardings etc. As 
we move south, there are large areas of the beach that 
have been acquired by corporate agencies like VGP, 
and Buena Vista (Neelangarai) who have constructed 
an amusement park over a large area very close to 
the coast. 



There are many hotels and resorts along the coast, 
the prominent ones being Taj Groups Fisherman's 
Cove. The Leela Group has acquired seven acres of 
prime land near the beach front in MRC Nagar for 
the purpose of starting a 20 storey five star deluxe 
hotel. 



Tamil Nadu Tourism Policy Note -2005-2006 



In 2003 the Government had proposed a beautification 
project which had envisaged the moving out of local 
people, the contract was to be given to a Malaysian 
company but due to a popular protest and the Central 




government's notification to the state government 
dated April 23rd 2003 quoting the coastal regulation 
the project was dropped 9 . 

3.1 .3. Kancheepuram 

The Kancheepuram coast has witnessed rapid 
landscape changes due to unregulated development 
of tourist facilities, resorts and other structures. 
Mamallapuram is a well-known tourist destination. 
Mamallapuram has historical importance and its 
monuments, which are centuries old, are declared as 
one of the 13 World Heritage Centres by the UNESCO 
in 1985. The Mamallapuram dance festival is held 
annually and was conducted even just after the 
Tsunami in order to promote tourism. This Festival, 
which had started on 23-12-2004 and stopped from 
26-12-2004 was resumed from 7th January 2005 and 
continued up to 30th January 2005. 

To begin with, the department of tourism has 
constructed numerous wayside amenities along the 
East Coast Road, on the seaward side of the road very 
close to the coast (Plate #21). These include parks 
and picnic spots. There are many resorts that have 
come up close to the coastal areas in this district. 
Numerous hotels and restaurants have also come up 
on either side ofthe ECR. Many ofthese constructions 
would sometimes be within 200 m when the ECR 
runs very close to the coastline. The exact number 
of resorts, hotels and other tourist facilities was not 
counted during this study due to it being of a rapid 
assessment type. Some of the areas that have large 
tracts of coast under tourism are Jambodai where 
MGM resorts are located. 

3. 1 .4. Pdndicherry 

The main beach in Pondicherry is accessed 
from Auroville. Although the amount of tourism 
infrastructure is less here, there are numerous 
thatched structures that have been erected very close 
to the coast (Plate #22). The local people are denied 
access to the beach between 11 am and 4 pm, during 
which time the beach is occupied by foreign tourists. 

3. 1 .5. CUDDALDRE 

Pitchavaram mangroves and Silver beach are the 
major tourism spots along the coast in this area. The 
District administration has additionally promoted 
tourism in Samiarpettai and has developed the beach 
with infrastructure - lights and roads. 

9 http://www.hinduonnet.com/2003/04/24/stories/2003042405410400.htm 



3.1 .6. Nagapattinam 

In Tarangampadi, there is a governor's bungalow 
opposite to the Dutch fort that has been converted to 
a hotel by the Neemrana Group named Bungalow on 
the Beach (Plate #13). This structure is old and is very 
close to the coast. Extension activities of the hotel, 
like construction of a dormitory (Plate # 14), have 
also been undertaken here. 

Velankanni is an important pilgrim tourist destination 
in the district. The number of tourists to Velankanni 
has been increasing steadily. The coastal stretch is 
very narrow and cannot accommodate the tourist 
inflow. The local authorities therefore decided to 
broaden this stretch by diverting the Upparu River 
from the Velankanni beach. Groynes were also laid 
near the estuaries. 

Nagapattinam also gets a sizable number of pilgrims 
to the mausoleum in Nagore. The combined activities 
of Nagore and Velankanni have prompted the 
establishment of many tourism related infrastructure 
in the coastal areas. 

Point Calimere is a wildlife sanctuary and it attracts 
many domestic tourists. The infrastructure is minimum 
at present but the tourism department is planning to 
'develop' this into an 'ecotourism' destination. 

3. 1 .1. Thiruvarur 

Mangroves and lagoons in Muthupet have been one 
ofthe major tourism attractions. However, the impact 
of tourism development in the area is affecting the 
local communities. (Please see Box# 3 in the section 
on developmental impacts) 

3.1 .8. Ramanathpuram 

The tourism development in this district is 
comparatively low. Ariyaman beach is the emerging 
beach tourism destination along the coast of this 
district. 

3.1 .9. Thddthukudi 

There are many indications of beach resorts poised 
to come up in the coastal areas of Thoothukudi. 
Also many recreational areas are being developed 
in and around the port area in Thoothukudi town, 
for example places near the Thoothukudi Port Trust 
- Roche park, Raj park (near camp). 




3. 1 . 1 D. Kanyakumari 

Kanyakumari is one of the most famous pilgrim 
centres in India. The meeting of three oceans is 
a unique feature of the destination. Vivekananda 
rock, Thiruvalluvar statue, Bagavathy Amman 
temple, a clear view of sunset and sunrise are the 
main attractions of Kanyakumari. The rampant 
development of the tourism industry has left no 
space along the beach; the immediate stretches 
of land adjoining the sea towards the southern 
side have been completely occupied by the hotel 
industry. The development of tourism has resulted in 
inappropriate infrastructure creation, which has huge 
environmental repercussions. One such example is 
the jetty, which services Vivekananda rock. The jetty 
protrudes into the sea parallel to the coastal line, 
this makes the currents to bend and flow in another 
direction. Amusement parks and water theme parks 
are the recent additions to attract domestic tourists. 
Baywatch is one such theme park, which has planned 
its operation to cover about 4000 visitors a day. Sand 
dunes were levelled to have an elevated structure 
over it for a clear view of sunrise and sunset. 

The adjoining areas to the main tourist centre that are 
being developed currently in Kanyakumari district 
are given below. 

Sankuthurai 

Sankuthurai is yet another emerging beach tourism 
destination, which attracts domestic tourists mostly 
from Kanyakumari and neighbouring districts. In 
order to develop infrastructure the government has 
laid road within 60m from the coast. Sand dunes were 
removed for erecting structures related to tourism. 

Sothavilai 

Sothavilai is another well-known beach tourism 
destination in the district, the beach has rich dune 
vegetation and for the promotion of tourism in many 
areas sand dunes were levelled and structures were 
erected on the sand dunes. 

Both these places will become like many other beach 
tourism destinations, with burgeoning boarding, 
lodging and recreational structures, if immediate 
checks are not put to regulate tourism development. 
Another vast stretch of coastal area will be a casualty 
to shortsighted and callous tourism development. 



3.2. Tourism Plans dfTamil 
Nadu pdst Tsunami 

The Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu seems 
relatively unconcerned about the loss of lives and 
property of Indian citizens due to the tsunami. It was 
more concerned about the safety of foreign tourists. 
Its media announcements post tsunami announced 
in the media that all foreign tourists are safe and 
that no foreign tourists had died. It was 'business as 
usual' for the Department. It set out on series of what 
it termed as 'confidence building measures, close on 
the heels of the tsunami, which included resuming the 
Mamallapuram dance festival on 7th January 2005, 
inaugurating the India Tourist and Industrial Fair in 
Chennai on 13th January 2005 and encouraging tour 
operators to not cancel scheduled itineraries. 

On 26th January 2005 a luxury liner with 52 British 
tourists on board arrived in the Chennai port. 
Around 900 foreign tourists visited Tamil Nadu in a 
separate luxury liner, which docked at the Chennai 
and Tuticorin ports in February 2005. Their itinerary 
included a visit to Chennai city, Mamallapuram, 
Kancheepuram, Madurai and Tirunelveli. On 28th 
March 2005 another ship arrived in Chennai Port 
with about 650 American Passengers. 

The tsunami provided the Tourism Department with a 
splendid opportunity to bring back various schemes 
and proposals that were hitherto in the pipelines. 
The strategy was to use the tack of promoting 
tourism development on the coast as a paradigm for 
economic upliftment, to compensate for the damage. 
For the Department, the tsunami had "... unearthed 
new treasures... and ... brought answers to all 
questions..." (Tamil Nadu Tourism, 2005). The policy 
note of 2005-2006 demands the implementation of 
various tourism development schemes, which are 
given in table 2 and detailed below. 

In order to not loose out on the tourism potential the 
government has acted quickly in the reconstruction 
of infrastructure for tourism purposes. At a time of 
calamity it is but right to focus on the people affected 
and first address their needs in terms of rehabilitation, 
reconstruction and re generation of their livelihood 
options including those that are related to tourism 
and are dependant on tourism. 

The amount allocated to re-construction of coastal 
tourism related infrastructure is Rs. 57 crores (as per 
the statement by the tourism minister Mr A. Miller 
during the National Tourism and Culture festival at 




Kanyakumari - 2nd Jan 2006). This amount, although 
much smaller than the amount allocated for disaster 
relief, has been disbursed and utilized for the said 
purpose of rebuilding tourism infrastructure along 
the coast. 

Table 2 

Pdst tsunami tdurism development plans df Department df Tdurism - Tamil 

Nadu fdr the peridd commencing 2DD5-D6 



SL . 


Scheme 


Areas 


Cdst 
(Rs IN lakhs) 


1. 


Integrated Development of Mamallapuram - 2 nd 
phase 


Mamallapuram 


432 


2. 


Integrated development of Tourism Circuits - 
Development of Vivekananda Travel Circuit 


Ramanathapuram 
Kanyakumari 


168.24 
662.48 


3- 


Beach tourism 


Muttom & Thekkurichi 
Kayalpattinam 
Poompuhar 
Pulicat Lake 
Thirumullaivasal 


150 

30 
30 
30 

7-45 


4- 


Development of the Ecotourism Circuit 


Pichavaram 

Point Calimere 
Muthupet 


294.40 


5. 


Coastal Area Development Programme 


Nagapattinam beach 
Velakanni beach 
Silver beach 
Manora 


Not known 




3.2.1 . Government df India Assisted 
Schemes 

i) Integrated Development of Mamallapuram 
The total cost of this project is approximately Rs. 
19.00 crores. Ministry of Tourism, Government of 
India has accorded sanction for a sum of Rs. 5.00 
crores towards the 1st phase of work. 

A. Shore Temple area: Project cost Rs. 2.00 crores 
The following works were taken up under this 
scheme 

a) Construction of 15 commercial shops 

b) Construction of compound wall 

c) Digging of well 

d) Ticket counter 

e) Parking lot 
Pathway 

g) Landscaping 

h) Planting of saplings 

i) Electrical works etc. 

The above works have been completed. 

B.Five Rathas area: Project cost Rs. 3.00 Crores 
The following works were taken up under this 
project. 



a) Construction of compound wall 

b) Landscaping 

c) Construction of 101 shops (the shops on the road 
to Five Rathas will be shifted to these shops) 

d) Restaurant 

e) Toilet 

Bus-shelter 

g) Ticket counter 

h) Kiosk 

i) Signages 

j) Pathway etc. 

The above works are nearing completion. 

ii) Integrated Development of Mamallapuram 2nd 
Phase 

Under the 2nd Phase, a proposal at a cost of Rs. 
519.99 lakhs was sent to Ministry of Tourism, 
Government of India for according sanction. 
Ministry of Tourism, Government of India during 
February 2005 hasconveyedsanctionforRs. 432.00 
lakhs and released a sum of Rs. 345.00 lakhs as 
first instalment to commence the work. The details 
of works to be taken up under this scheme are as 
follows: 
1) Development of area opposite to Arjuna's 



Penance area 

2) Development of area opposite to Archaeological 
Survey of India Office 

3) Construction of Higher Secondary School, 
Primary school and Balwadi 

4) Development of approach road to Five Rathas, 
Shore temple 

5) Construction of Bus Stand 

6) Widening of pathway 

7) Development of Tiger Caves, Sri 
Sthalasayanaperumal temple premises and 
tank 

8) Development of tourist bus stop 

3.2.2. Integrated development df 
Tdurism Circuits - Development 
of vlvekananda travel circuit 
(Ramanathapuram and Kanyakumari) 

A tourist circuit is defined as a route on which at least 
three major tourist destinations are located and none 
of these are in the same town, village or city. At the 
same time they should be in such proximity that a 
tourist would like to covertheminasequence.lt should 
have well defined entry and exit points. A tourist who 
enters at the entry point would get motivated to visit 
all the places identified on the circuit. The objective 
of having a tourist circuit is to increase the total 
number of visits to all the destinations in the circuit 
and to provide to the tourists the attraction of all the 
destinations located in the circuit as a package. For 
one tourist circuit area or circuit, the government of 
India would sanction maximum amount of Rs. 8.00 
crores. 

During the year 2003-2004, the Ministry of Tourism, 
Government of India sanctioned the following works 
under the Adi Sankara circuit and the Vivekananda 
circuit. Currently these projects are underway. 

Ramanathapuram 

The development of places associated with the visit 
of Swami Vivekananda, a detailed proposal for a sum 
of Rs. 367.84 lakhs was sent to Ministry of Tourism, 
Government of India. 

Accordingly, Ministry of Tourism, Government of 
India has conveyed sanction for a sum of Rs. 168.24 
lakhs and released a sum of Rs. 54.47 lakhs as first 
installment to commence the work in 2005- 2006. 



schemes for a sum of Rs. 662.48 lakhs. The details 
are given below: - 

a) Flood lighting of Vivekananda Rock Memorial at 
Kanyakumari. 

Vivekananda rock memorial is one of the major 
tourist attractions in Kanyakumari. It has therefore 
been decided to provide flood lighting for good 
view during the night hours. Government of India 
has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 32.13 lakhs and 
released the amount in full to CPWD to implement 
the scheme. 

b) Mounting of Sound and Light show at 
Kanyakumari. 

The Government of India has sanctioned a sum of 
Rs. 225.00 lakhs and released Rs. 202.00 lakhs 
as first installment to India Tourism Development 
Corporation to commence the work. It has been 
decided to mount the sound and light show at the 
boat jetty area. 

c) For the benefit of tourists. Government of India has 
sanctioned a sum of Rs. 255.35 lakhs and released 
Rs. 76.60 lakhs as first instalment to India Tourism 
Development Corporation to execute the works of 
construction of: 

1) Five cottages at Vivekananda Kendra 

2) Strengthening of boat jetty at Vivekananda rock 
memorial 

3) Development of sun viewpoint and soft drinks 
shop at boat jetty. 

3.2.3. Beach tourism 

The Government of India has sanctioned a sum of 
Rs. 150.00 lakhs and released Rs. 45.00 lakhs as 
the first instalment to India Tourism Development 
Corporation to commence the work at Muttom and 
Thekkurichi beachfronts in Kanyakumari District. 
Infrastructure like accommodation, kiosks, toilets, 
restaurant, landscaping at Muttom beach and 
aquarium, rain shelter, dress changing rooms, jetty, 
and landscaping at Thekkurichi beach have been 
taken up in 2005- 2006. 

During 2004-2005, the following beaches were taken 
up for development with Government of Tamil Nadu 
Financial Assistance. 



Kanyakumari 

Under the scheme of development of Vivekananda 
Travel Circuit, the Ministry of Tourism, Government 
of India in 2005- 2006, has sanctioned a number of 



a)Kayalpattinam beach (Thoothukudi District) Rs. 
30.00 lakhs 

b) Improvements to Poompuhar Tourist Complex (over 




lookingthe sea in Nagapattinam District) Rs. 30.00 
lakhs 

c) Provision of infrastructure facilities at Pulicat Lake 
(Tiruvallur District) Rs. 30.00 lakhs 

d)Thirumullaivasal Beach (Nagapattinam District) Rs. 
7.45 lakhs 

3.2.4. Development df the 
Ecdtdurism Circuit 

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, Muthupet 
Mangroves and Pichavaram 

The development of ecotourism has been referred to 
in the vision document 2002, the policy note of the 
Tourism Department for the year 2003-2004 and 10th 
Five year Plan (2002-2007) document. It was therefore 
proposed to establish an Ecotourism Circuit covering 
Point Calimere in Nagapattinam District, Muthupet 
in Thiruvarur District, and Pichavaram in Cuddalore 
District. This has a proposal for a sum of Rs. 368.00 
lakhs. The proposal was sent to Ministry of Tourism 
(Government of India) for according sanction under 
the scheme of Integrated Development of Tourism 
Circuit. Government of India has conveyed sanction 
during 2004-2005 and released a sum of Rs. 294.40 
lakhs as first instalment to commence the work. 

The component of the "ecotourism" projects are: 

a) Eco Tourism at Point Calimere Wild Life Sanctuary 
at a cost of Rs. 212.00 lakhs 

1) Providing interpretation center 

2) Provision of tented accommodation 

3) Erection of publicity boards 

4) Dubbing of wild life films in local language 

5) Improvement of the tourist track inside the 
sanctuary 

6) Creation of nature trail 

7) Renovation of Poonarai lllam rest house 

8) Providing compound wall to forest lodge 

9) Children's park 

10) Parking lot 

11) Creation of infrastructure facility in Thambusamy 
illam rest house 

12) Providing approach road to the sanctuary 

b) Development of eco-tourism at Muthupet 
mangroves in Thiruvarur District at a cost of Rs. 
51.50 lakhs 

1) Creation of a visitor's centre 

2) Providing power boats 

3) Construction of visitor's rest shed 



4) Raising observation towers 

5) Creation of bio-diversity spots 

6) Providing wooden board walks 

7) Publicity and awareness 

c) Development of eco-tourism in and around 
Pichavaram (covering Portnova, MGR Thittu and 
Chinna Vaikkal) at a cost of Rs. 104.50 lakhs 

1) Construction of jetty 

2) Construction of cottages 

3) Construction of restaurant 
4) Construction of waitingshed 

5) Construction of pre fabricated toilets, urinal 
blocks, sales counter, water tank, benches 

6) Providing interpretation centre 

7) Purchase of boats. 

Apart from the above, during the year 2005-06, 
the tourism department it is being proposed to 
develop the following places under the Coastal Area 
Development Programme: 
1) Nagapattinam Beach Nagapattinam District 
2)Velankanni Beach Nagapattinam District 

3) Silver Beach Cuddalore District 

4) Manora Tanjavur District 

3.2.5. Analysis <Sc recdmmendatidns 

The state government's earlier efforts on promoting 
tourism in Nilgiris and Kodaikanal has resulted in 
large scale construction of hotels, restaurants, shops, 
resorts and other tourism-related infrastructure. This 
has taken its toll on the fragile ecology of the Western 
Ghats. As fallout of this, in the recent years the 
government's focus has shifted to develop tourism 
in untapped places. The coastal areas have thus 
received a greater attention. 

The earlier policy documents of 1996-1997 and 2001- 
2002 of the Tourism Department acknowledged 
adverse impacts of tourism and therefore the need 
for carrying capacity studies, importance of the 
Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification and 
conservation and preservation of coastal ecology. 
But in later policy notes, including the one that has 
been prepared for 2005-06 after the tsunami, the 
environmental and social concerns are completely 
missing. There is not even a mention of the CRZ or 
the need to conserve coastal ecosystems. Instead 
it proposes ecologically sensitive areas as new 
tourism destinations. It has allowed projects like the 
Leela Group of Hotels to come up at the beach front, 
which is being done by filling up backwaters near 




the Adyar estuary. The proposed Sethu Samuthram 
Canal Project and proposal for the extension of ECR is 
expected to boost development along the coasts and 
hence further expansion of tourism projects. 

In many tourist places, beach resorts are jostling 
local fishermen out of the seafront. The coastal 
ecosystems are being impacted through destructive 
activities like flattening of sand dunes for the 
construction of cottages, swimming pools and other 
infrastructure. The fishing communities require the 
sea front for salting and drying of fish, landing boats 
and fishnets. 

The local fishing communities depend on the natural 
lagoons and mangroves for their livelihoods. The 
restricted access to the areas because of promotion 
of tourism is adversely affecting the community. For 
example in Muthupet there are two watchtowers 
that have been put up by the Tourism Department. 
The local fishermen are now denied access to the 
lagoon by the tourism department citing reasons of 
disturbance to the tourists. The fishing patterns of 
the locals have also been affected by the tourism 
related infrastructure. The fisher folk are now not 
allowed to stay in the area or camp overnight in the 
area while they are fishing; this is a forced deviation 
from their age-old practices in the area. The local 
communities have expressed their apprehension on 
the new developments and are not happy with the 
restrictions that are imposed on them by the forest 
department and the tourism department. The rights 
that they traditionally enjoyed in the area as a fishing 
community have been violated. 



areas for tourism and branding it as ecotourism. 

The Tourism Department should respect the need to 
protect ecologically sensitive areas and leave them 
alone from tourism development. 

The various schemes and proposals that are being 
implemented will have irreparable impacts on the 
coastal areas and communities. It is not known 
whether these schemes and proposals have been 
developed on the basis of social and environmental 
impact assessments. Not only will the new areas 
be subjected to bear the brunt of unplanned and 
unregulated tourism development, but the expansion 
plans in existing coastal tourism destinations will 
exacerbate current negative impacts visible here. 
This is an alarming trend because the already fragile 
coast line will be weakened by these alterations. 
A standing testimony to this is what happened in 
Serudoor (Velankanni) and Sothavilai (Kanyakumari) 
where a similar alteration of the topography (sand 
dunes) of the coast aggravated the impact of the 
tsunami. 

The ecological and social footprint of tourism in 
existing coastal tourism destinations needs to 
be measured. Social and environmental impact 
assessments have to be conducted for any tourism 
project or plan irrespective of its size. 



It is strongly recommended that tourism development 
should not displace the local communities, not 
change their traditional livelihood practices and not 
deny access to coastal areas and resources, which 
are their traditional and customary rights. 



The current tourism developments in the coastal 
areas of Tamil Nadu are unmindful of ecological 
considerations and far removed from all sustainability 
criteria. The "ecotourism" plans in Pichavaram, Point 
Calimere and Muthupet do not reflect any notions of 
ecotourism values. These plans might have as well 
been formulated in the absence of the nomenclature 
of ecotourism. This shows a complete lack of 
understanding of the aspects of ecotourism on the 
part of Tourism Department. Moreover, the Tourism 
Department is committing the same mistake, which is 
done universally - opening up ecologically sensitive 




PART 4 



OVERVIEW OF THE IMPACT OF THE TSUNAMI OH THE 
TAMIL HADU COAST 



The Tamil Nadu state has a coastal stretch of 1076 km 
encompassed in 13 coastal districts. In the state, 8010 
human lives were lost to the tsunami. More than a lakh 
people have been affected in both Kancheepuram 
and Tuticorin districts and in Kanyakumari and 
Nagapattinam each, almost 2 lakh people have been 
affected. The death toll in Nagapattinam was the 
maximum and was seven times that of Kanyakumari. 

The Union Territory of Pondicherry comprises of two 
regions: Pondicherry and Karaikal. Cuddalore district 
of Tamil Nadu lies between Pondicherry and Karaikal. 
The total death toll in Pondicherry and Karaikal is 
579. Karaikal, which is adjacent to Nagapattinam 
coast, had a death toll of 472, whereas the death toll 
in Pondicherry was 107. 



The statistics of loss of lives and affected populations 

is from the official website of TN Government 10 and 

Pondicherry Government". 

Factors that have determined damage and loss of life 

are: 

1. Topography of coastal and marine areas 

2. Coast area 

3. Anthropogenic activities on the coast 

4. Population density of the affected areas 

5. Nature of habitat - dwelling units, location 

6. Proximity and distance of dwelling units 

7. Un-preparedness of the people (this is generic) 



District wise summaries of the population and area 
affected by the tsunami in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry 
is given in Tables 3 and 4 respectively. 



Table 3 
District wise summary df the population and area affected by 

the tsunami in tamil nadu 



Name of 
District 


Total 
Population 


Population 
Density 


Population 
Affected 


Population 
Affected (%) 


Degree of 
Casuality 
(Ratio of 

Population 
Impacted: 

Lives Lost) 


Tdtal 
Length 

of 
Coast 


Chennai 


42,16,268 


24231 


73,000 


i-73 


206 


19 


Cuddalore 


22,80,530 


626 


99.704 


4-37 


614 


57-5 


Kancheepuram 


28,69,920 


647 


100,000 


3.48 


130 


87.2 


Kanyakumari 


16,69,763 


992 


187,650 


11.23 


799 


71-5 


Nagapattinam 


14,87,055 


548 


196,184 


13.19 


6065 


187.9 


Pudukkottai 


14,52,269 


312 


66,350 


4.56 


15 


42.8 


Ramanathapuram 


11,83,321 


287 








20 


236.8 


Tanjavur 


22,05,375 


649 


29278 


1.32 


37 


45.1 


Thiruvallur 


27,38,866 


800 


15,600 


0.56 


29 


27.9 


Thiruvarur 


11,65,213 


538 








36 


47.2 


Tirunelveli 


28,01,194 


4" 


27.948 


0.99 


4 


48.9 


Tuticorin 


15.65.743 


339 


110,610 


7.06 


3 


163.5 


Villupuram 


29.43.9V 


406 


78,240 


2.65 


47 


40.7 


Total 










8005 


1076 km 




10 http://www.tn.gov.in/tsunami/damages.htm 

11 http://www.pondicherry.nic.in/tsunami/dmg1002.htm 



Table 4 
District wise summary df the pdpulatidn and area affected by the tsunami 

in pondicherry 



Name df 
District 


Tdtal 
Pdpulatidn 


Pdpulatidn 
Density 


Pdpulatidn 
Affected 


Pdpulatidn 
Affected (%) 


Degree df 
Casuality 
(Ratid df 

Pdpulatidn 
Impacted: 

Lives Ldst) 


Tdtal 

Length 

df 

CD AST 


Pondicherry 


7,35.ooz, 12 


2534 13 


26,000 


3-53 


107 




Karaikal 


1,70,640 


1064 


V,432 


10.21 


492 




Total 


905,644 


2029 14 


43,432 




599 


25 



Bdx 5 

Cdral Reefs td the Rescue 



The following is an account told to us by local women. In Chinna Eruvadi, women go to sea for collecting shrimp. On 26th 
December 2004, five women went to sea early in the morning for this purpose. While collecting they found that the water 
level had gone down from 8 ft to 12 ft and within a few seconds it raised to 15 ft. The water dragged all the five women 
towards the sea. Three of the women survived tied a rope to the reefs and held on till they were rescued later. Lakshmi, 
one of the five women lost two of her sisters to the killer waves. She added that if there were no coral reefs she wouldn't 
been alive. 



4. 1 . Thiruvallur 

In this district 15 villages located between Pulicat 
Lake and the sea were affected. In some villages, 
the distance between sea and backwater is about 
500m. All through the coastal stretch groynes were 
laid to prevent sea erosion. Villagers from the area, 
which is situated between the backwater lake and 
sea, have claimed that these groynes have been laid 
to prevent the areas from sea erosion, however this 
only exacerbated the erosion in the adjacent villages. 
There is few areas left now for people to settle down 
in this locality. Thiruvallur district, which earlier had 
mangrove forests, has lost them to industrialisation. 
The death toll in the affected villages was 29. 
Thiruvottiyur 1 and 2, Sathankadu, Pulicat and 
Thirupalaivanam, are mostly situated in areas prone 
to sea erosion. 

4.2. Chennai 

The coastal stretch of Chennai is comparatively lower 
than the others in elevation, the fishing community 
settlements in these areas are multi-storied and the 
population of the coastal communities is dense within 
the city limits. Fishing villages like Srinivasapuram, 
Nochikuppam and Kasimedu are the most affected. 

12 http://www.pon.nic.in/ecostat/popuatglance.htm 

13 http://www.pon.nic.in/ecostat/popuatglance.htm 
1!> http://www.censusindia.net/data/chapter5.pdf 



The death toll in Chennai district is 206 with an 
affected population of 73000 people in 24 villages. 

An important factor that may have determined the 
extent of impact is the presence of broad beaches 
with dense population within Chennai city limit and 
narrow beaches in northern Chennai. All through the 
stretch from Chennai to Ennore, groynes were laid as 
many of the villages were situated in close proximity 
to the sea. Just behind the villages runs the Ennore 
Express Road. The maximum distance between 
the sea and the road is 300 m. In Srinivasapuram 
the population is high and most of the houses are 
multi-storeyed (more of an urban settlement) unlike 
other fishing settlements in the coast. The fishing 
communities are accommodated in slum clearance 
board areas. The high number of deaths has been 
mainly due to high density of population near the 
coast. 

Several of these structures are suffering from poor 
maintenance and have crumbled. The state govtwants 
the families dwelling in these buildings to buy these 
dwelling spaces or else move out. Neither of these 





are economical options for the fishing community. 
The areas where these buildings are located are also 
premium real estate within the city and will be readily 
taken up by builders. For instance a short distance 
north of Adyar, the Leela Palace Hotel is being 
developed. 

The families living in these slums are not identified as 
fishing hamlets and their requirement to be located 
close to the coast is not addressed as a matter of 
right. They are mostly seen as slum dwellers, and are 
therefore vulnerable to beingdisplaced and relocated 
far away from the coast. 

4.3. Kancheepuram 

The death toll in Kancheepuram district was 129 
and the number of people affected in the district 
was estimated at about a lakh (100,000). In this 
district, the Kovalam creek is linked with the 
Buckingham canal and most of the kuppams 15 are 
located very close to the sea. Most fishing villages 
between the Kottivakkam to Kokilamedu stretch and 
Chinnakuppam to Alambaraikuppam 16 are located 
on slightly elevated land. The deaths in this area 
were less when compared to other low-lying areas 
like Meyyurkuppam and Uyyalikuppam. Another 
factorforthe high death toll is the population density 
along the coast. For instance, the Meyyurkuppam 
to Uyyalikuppam stretch has only 5 villages but the 
death toll here is 27 when compared to the death 
toll of 22 in 47 villages located in the Kottivakkam 
to Kokilamedu stretch and the Chinnakuppam to 
Alambaraikuppam stretch. The Buckingham canal 
and the elevated topography considerably reduced 
losses. 

The tsunami has damaged the fishing crafts, but 
there is not much damage to the huts as they are 
located on an elevated level. The local fishermen say 
that the Uppanar estuary's presence has safeguarded 
their habitation. The local people also say that there 
is at present no fishing in the sea because the local 
fishermen are lobbying for a boat for every fishing 
family. 

4.4. VlLLUPURAM 

Villupuram district recorded a death toll of 47 in 33 
villages and the numbers of affected people were 
put at 78,240. Many villages here are situated very 
close to the sea and casuarina plantations were 
found in a few sites. The Pondicherry government in 
many villages laid groynes. Thanthirayan kuppam is 



15 A kuppam is a settlement of fisherfolk 
1 SIFFS &ICSF survey, January 2005 



a village, which is also affected by sea erosion. Here 
in the post tsunami the sea erosion has claimed lives 
of 2 children. The density of the population and the 
villages located near the coast is comparatively less. 
The Kaluveli and Yedaiayan Thittu backwaters enter 
the sea near Kadapakkam, the Buckingham canal 
also merges with the backwaters here. The Chief 
Minister has stated that the canal be opened during 
monsoons when flooding happens. However, this 
will have an adverse affect, as there will be increased 
siltation of the wetlands. Another problem is that the 
waters will bring down waste material, including non- 
biodegradable plastics into these areas. This will pose 
a challenge for the efficient management of wetlands 
of this area. There is a need to restore the ecological 
services of the canal and it needs to be included in 
the CRZ areas as it runs parallel to the coast. 

4.5. Pdndicherry and 
Karaikal 

The death toll in Pondicherry and Karaikal was 599 
and the number of people affected was estimated at 
43,432 in 33 villages. The number of affected villages 
in Pondicherry and Karaikal areas were 16 and 17 
respectively. However, the death toll in Karaikal was 
4 times (472) higher than that of Pondicherry (107). 
One of the reasons can be attributed to the fact that in 
the Pondicherry stretch, there is dune vegetation but 
in Karaikal region, the coastal ecosystems like dunes 
and casuarina plantations were uprooted (Ammankoil 
pathu area), and there is no natural barrier to 
protect the coast. In addition, Karaikal is closer to 
Nagapattinam district and the stretch is similar to 
that of the Nagapattinam coast. The government has 
also been responsible for the removal of sand from 
dunes for landfills. Another problem that is currently 
being faced in Karaikal is the rapid urbanisation of 
low-lying areas. This urbanisation process is linked 
to the policy on fisheries, as the policy encourages 
increased fishing and associated activities including 
the creation of more fish landing centres, which 
ultimately give rise to such developments. 

4.6. CUDDALDRE 

In Cuddalore district, 617 lives were lost and 99,704 
people in 51 villages were affected. The maximum 
death toll was in Devanamapattinam, close to 
Cuddalore town where 101 lives were lost. This is a 
touristdestination(SilverBeach)and human activities 
in this area are considerably high. Pudukuppam is 
another village close to the sea where the tsunami 
claimed the lives of about 96 people. In areas like 
Sothikuppam, a village located behind the SIPCOT 



Industrial area, the sea front is protected by beach 
vegetation and coconut trees, the tidal waves were 
carried inland through the estuary of River Uppanar. 
In other taluks like Chidambaram, villages located 
between the backwaters and sea, have large 
populations. As a result, the death toll here was 
relatively high. 

In some of the areas, there were no deaths because 
of presence of large beaches, the siting of villages 
relatively far away from the sea and use of the 
seafront by fishermen as only as workspaces 
and not as living space. Such locations include 
Andarmullipallam, Reddiarpalayam, Kayalpattu, 
Thiruchopuram, Thiyagavalli, Nochikadu, Nallavadu, 
Gundu uppalavadi, Kandakadu, Uchimedu, 
Thaikal thonithurai, Periyakuppam, lyyampettai, 
Nanjalingampettai and Pettodai. 

In TS Pettai, the local people say that the water 
has only turned a little brackish after the tsunami; 
therefore the agricultural activities have not stopped. 
In Chinnakuppam, shrimp farms are being revived 
after the tsunami. In fact some of them are also 
attending the training given by the government in 
shrimp aquaculture. All these farms fall within 500m 
oftheHTL. 

4.7. Nagapattinam 

The Nagapattinam coast is mostly low-lying and the 
coastline extrudes into the Bay of Bengal, hence the 
district faced the brunt of the tsunami. In addition, 
Nagapattinam has a narrow coastal stretch disturbed 
by human interventions. It is the worst affected area 
in Tamil Nadu. More than 6000 lives were claimed in 
this district alone. It has been reported that 196,184 
people in 73 villages were affected by the tsunami. 

The district has 5 Taluks - Nagapattinam, Keelvelur, 
Vedaranyam, Tarangambadi (Tranquebar), Seerkazhi. 
The death toll in Nagapattinam was 3378. Keelvelur 
reported 1498 deaths, Tarangambadi reported 525 
deaths, Sirkali reported 516 deaths; and Vedaranyam 
reported 148 deaths. The death toll in Nagapattinam 
taluk is more than 50% of the death toll of the 
district. This is because Nagapattinam is one of 
the most densely populated areas. The coastline of 
Nagapattinam is narrow and projectingto the sea. In 
addition, the villages/ hamlets are located very near 
to sea, at an average of about 100m from the sea. 

In Keelvelur Taluk, most of the deaths were reported 
from Velankanni - 900, and Serudoor - 80. The 

17 http://www.thanjavur.tn.nic.in/Default.htm 



remaining 518 deaths were reported from the 
surrounding villages. The beach of Velankanni was 
small because Upparu river flowed adjacent to it. The 
authorities ofVelankanni Church have broadened the 
beach by altering the river course. This has affected 
the sand dunes and beaches of Serudoor Village in 
the south. The population density in Velankanni was 
high because of tourists who came to the Church for 
Christmas and Sunday mass. Hence the number of 
tourist deaths is higher than that of local people. 

The death toll in Tarangambadi and Sirkali was 
1041. In Sirkali, most of the people live between 
the backwaters and sea. The number of deaths in 
Vedaranyam area was comparatively less (148). 
The villages in Vedaranyam are not located close to 
each other and the population density is also low. 
In addition, Vedaranyam is sufficiently protected 
by mangroves in Muthupet. This is the only area 
where wetlands, mangroves and forests have been 
protected to some extent. In Point Calimere, it was 
reported by local people that the deaths that occurred 
in this area were mostly of fishermen from outside the 
district. These fishermen use the coastal stretches of 
Vedaranyam, Kodiakarai for various fishing related 
activities, including sale of the catch trading places. 
Their activities have caused considerably damage to 
sand dunes in Valmikimedu. (Plate #23) 

4.B.THIRUVARUR 

In Thiruvarur district 28 were lives lost but damage 
to property was not reported. This district has 
mangrove ecosystems and a lagoon, which is 
located along the coast. The Thiruvarur coast faces 
the Palk Bay, where the tidal action is very low and 
the coastal stretch is also small and located more to 
the interior in comparison with Nagapattinam. The 
villages here are not very close to the sea, in villages 
such as Thillaivalagam and Sengankadu the coastal 
community is located at least a kilometre away from 
the sea. Most of them are involved in fishing near the 
lagoon. 

4.9.TANJAVUR 

The coastline of this district is fairly protected as it 
directly overlooks the Palk Bay. The death toll here 
was 33 and the number of affected people was 
29278. Among the dead only one individual was from 
Tanjavur district, the other 32 persons were from the 
Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari coast. Only 3 huts in 
Marakkavalasai Village, Peravurani Taluk were fully 
damaged 17 . 




4. ID. PUDUKDTTAI 

In Pudukottai district, 15 lives were lost and 66350 
people in 25 villages have been affected. The coastal 
stretch of the district faces Palk Bay where the tidal 
action of the sea is very low. This has resulted in less 
destruction and impact on human lives. Most of the 
villages are either at an elevated level or not very 
close to the sea. The villages in these districts are not 
densely populated. The mangroves of Vadaku Amma 
pattinam and the coral reefs in the Palk Bay helped to 
reduce the impact of tsunami here. The damage could 
have also been less due to Sri Lanka shadowing this 
region and due to the presence of natural barriers 
such as reefs. Many fishing communities lost their 
nets that they use for crab, prawn fishing as they lay 
them at night and collect them in the morning. 

4.11. Ramanathapuram 

The tsunami claimed only one human life in this 
district. The coastal stretch of the district was 
protected from the tsunami by the Palk Bay on the 
left and by the coral reefs and island chain of the 
Gulf of Mannar on the right. The beaches here are 
also very sandy and broad. There has not been much 
disturbance to the ecosystem here due to which it 
acted as a natural barrier against the tsunami. 

4. 1 2. Thddthukudi 

Tuticorin district stands second in terms of the 
affected population next to Nagapattinam and 
Kanyakumari, i.e. 110,610 people have been affected. 
Only three lives were lost. The Tuticorin district coast 
is protected to some extent due to presence of 
islands in the Gulf of Mannar. In this district, most of 
the villages are located close to the sea but because 
of the rich coastal ecosystem on the coast and in the 
Gulf of Mannar, the number of lives lost was low. 

4. 1 3. TlRUNELVELI 

In this district, 4 lives lost and 27,948 people in 
10 villages were affected by the tsunami. Most of 
these villages are located very close to the coast. 
Tirunelveli district, which is located towards the 
southern end of Tamil Nadu, does not have a very 
rich coastal ecosystem other than dune vegetation. 
The affected villages have witnessed extensive sand 
mining activities. Since the coast here faces the 
Indian Ocean and the impacts of sea erosion are felt 
to a greater extent, groynes have been laid. These 
were severely impacted by the tsunami. The ground 
water was affected due to inundation by seawater. In 
areas where the beach is broad and sand binders are 
present, the impacts have been low. 



In some of these places like west of Kootapuli 
where the casuarina re-growth had taken place, the 
tidal velocity and soil erosion seemed to be less as 
compared to the areas where the ecosystem had still 
not been restored. An interesting phenomenon that 
has been observed here is the recession of the sea to 
almost 10m. Sand was carried away by the tsunami 
waves and the groundwater level has increased is 
some areas Kootapuli; all Panchayat drinking water 
taps have become saline. 

4. 1 4. Kanyakumari 

Kanyankumari district recorded the second highest 
death toll. The number of lives lost was 828 and 
187,650 people in 33 villages were affected. The 
Kanyakumari coast has the unique feature of being 
the meeting point of three oceans (Indian Ocean, Bay 
of Bengal, Arabian sea). A coastal stretch of about 76 
km in the west coast was most affected; this is also 
the area where the sea is usually relatively rough. 
The coasts in this district have rare earths, which is of 
high value. Some of the minerals found are used for 
nuclear energy production. Melamanakudi, Kolachel, 
Kottilpadu are the major affected areas. The tsunami 
affected the bridge that connected Keelamanakudi 
and Melamanakudi and the causalities in 
Melamanakudi are high because of impact of rubble 
of the bridge thrown up by tsunami. In Kolachel and 
Kottilpadu, as a result of mining, the coast does not 
have any natural barriers left. The villages in the 
district are densely located, and the affected areas 
are also densely populated. 



4. 1 5. Pdst Tsunami 
Recdnstructidn Activities: 
ecdldgical impacts dn th e 

Cdast 

The state of Tamil Nadu is in the process of taking up 
reconstruction activities on the basis of several plans 
worked out by government departments and aid 
agencies. While it is accepted and appreciated that 
humanitarian needs should be the primary concern 
while planning and implementing these plans and 
activities, it is also important to note that short 
sighted and environmentally unsound plans could 
further aggravate the vulnerability of coastal habitats 
and communities. 

Several government orders (G.O.) have been issued 
to district officials involved in the mammoth exercise 
of rebuilding the infrastructure that was affected by 




the tsunami. Many of the Government Orders (G.O.s) 
do have references to the CRZ regulations and the 
need to respect these in all reconstruction activity. 
However, the poor state of implementation oftheCRZ 
notification until now makes it difficult to convince 
one of the possibilities that these G.O.s and the CRZ 
notification will be upheld now. 

Dumping of rubble 

After the tsunami a considerable quantity of rubble 
from damaged structures such as walls, houses and 
other structures has been generated. Disposal and 
clearing of the rubble, especially in cases where it 
is close to the shore area, pose a challenge and is 
undesirable. It must be noted that landfills in the 
CRZ area is banned and illegal under the CRZ rules. 
It was observed that rubble was being dumped along 
many areas all along the coasts of Tamil Nadu & 
Pondicherry, especially where the damage to houses 
and other buildings had been high. (Plate #24) 

Reconstruction 

During the relief and rehabilitation phase, "food 
for work" programmes and construction/repair of 
houses and infrastructure undertaken has not taken 
into consideration that local ecology and resources. 
Sand and sandstone mining in CRZ areas have taken 
place for reconstruction activity. 

Housing 

During the process of reconstruction, it will be 
necessary to respect the values and functions of 
wetlands, mangroves, swamps, sand dunes and 
other constituents of the coastal ecosystem. As 
per a GO issued in 1979, wetlands were not to be 
acquired for public purposes except in unavoidable 
circumstances and the District Collector was to 
verify if such acquisition was unavoidable and prior 
approval of government was to have been obtained 
in such cases. Orders were also issued from time to 
time that acquisition of wetlands should be avoided 
as far as possible. These orders were seen to be 
impediments in the way of speedy reconstruction 
and therefore the need to obtain prior permission 
from the government before acquisition of wetlands 
was sought to be done away with. Though this was a 
demand only from the Collector of Nagapattinam, it 
was felt that such demands might come from others 
areas too once the housing policy is notified and 
the process of land acquisition starts. Keeping this 
in mind the Special Commissioner recommended, 
this year, that all districts be exempted from seeking 
prior approval in such cases. The government 



accepted this and an order has been issued that no 
prior permission is required before the acquisition of 
wetlands for housing purposes of tsunami affected 
families. The collectors were also ordered to exhaust 
all other options of land before acquiring wetlands. 

This order though appreciable for the humanitarian 
aspect that it considers, can become a justification 
for rampant conversion of wetlands into housing 
plots. Such a move is not beneficial in the long run 
as wetlands perform very critical functions in the 
ecosystem as well as for the livelihoods of local 
people. 

The G.0. 172 lays down the guidelines for construction 
of new houses. Those who had houses within 200m 
of the HTL will only be allowed to repair the affected 
houses as per CRZ norms. These families will also be 
given an option of moving beyond this distance and 
the state will assist this process by providing free 
houses to them beyond the 200m distance. 

Those with houses between the 200m and 500 m 
distance will be given options to move into new 
houses beyond the 500m distance. These houses will 
be given free of cost to the willing families. 

Affected houses located beyond 500m and affected 
houses that would like to remain in the original 
location between 200m and 500m will be given 
financial assistance for undertaking repairs. 

It is likely that several affected families will exercise 
the option of moving into the free houses provided 
by the government beyond the 200m and 500m 
distance. If this does happen, some parts of the CRZ 
will become relatively free of habitation. 




PART 5 



IMPLEMENTATION OF LEGAL & POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR 
COASTAL CONSERVATION & REGOLATION IN TAMIL NADO 
& PONDICHERRY 



5. 1 .TheCdastal Regulation 
Zdne Notification 

- The Potential to Protect 
Coastal Habitats & Coastal 
Communities 

The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, issued 
in 1991 using the provisions of the Environment 
(Protection) Act, 1986 and the Environment 
(Protection) Rules, 1986 is the most significant 
and specialised legislation guiding anthropogenic 
activities along the coast. The crux of the Act and its 
Rules is that it empowers the Ministry of Environment 
and Forests (MoEF) with substantial power to take 
action "for the purpose of protecting and improving 
the quality of the environment and preventing, 
controlling and abating environmental pollution." 

Apart from the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 
1991 there are many legislations, official orders and 
notifications under these laws, related to coastal 
activities. The following are important: Indian 
Fisheries Act, i897(and the various state fisheries 
laws that followed); the Indian Ports Act, 1908; 
Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, Wildlife (Protection) 
Act 1972; Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) 
Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) 
Act, 1981; Indian Coast Guard Act, 1974; and Maritime 
Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign 
Vessels) Act, 1981 and Environment (Protection) Act, 
1986; The Petroleum Act, 1934; National Environment 
Tribunal Act, 1995; Hazardous Wastes (Management 
and Handling) Rules, 1989, Coast Guard Act, 1978, 
the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive 
Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976, 
the Offshore Mineral (Development and Regulation) 
Act, 2002 . 

In addition to this, India has signed and ratified 
several international conventions relating to oceans 
and related activities. Some of these are related to 
the marine environment and applicable to coastal 
areas also. The important ones are the following: 
MARPOL 1973/1978; Convention on Civil Liability for 
Oil Pollution Damages (CLC 1969) and its Protocol, 



1976; Fund, 1971 and its Protocol, 1979; CITES, 
Convention on Biodiversity, 1992 includes coastal 
biodiversity also (MoEF 2005). Others such 'soft 
laws' include United Nation Convention on Law of the 
Sea, and guidelines underthe International Maritime 
Organization such as ballast water guidelines. 

The CRZ notification seeks to operationalise three 
principles, which are very significant: 
Siting or location of activities or operations 
This is based on the understanding that coasts 
perform important functions for coastal communities 
and ecosystems. The coasts are important nesting 
and feeding grounds for several terrestrial and 
aquatic species. These coastal habitats also provide 
sustenance and livelihood opportunities to several 
coastal communities (both fishing and non-fishing 
communities). Rules for the siting of activities can 
ensure that the rights of traditional fishingand coastal 
communities over certain areas are not compromised 
to meet increasing development requirements such 
as the demands of the burgeoning tourism industry. 

Restricting and permitting appropriate activities 
The CRZ Notification defines the nature of activities 
that are to be regulated or restricted. It does not 
issue a blanket ban on all activities but lists activities 
that are restricted and those that are permitted. 

Balancing development and protection needs 
This principle is enshrined in the spirit of the CRZ, 
which recognizes that different areas have different 
ecological sensitivities and therefore need varying 
levels or modes of protection. Thus, the protection 
afforded to CRZ I is designed to be more stringent 
than that accorded to CRZ II areas, where more 
activities are permitted. 




5.2. CRZ Notification, 
1 99 1 - Salient Features 

The CRZ notification declared the coastal stretches of 
seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters 
which are influenced by tidal action (in the landward 
side) up to 500 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) 
and the land between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and 
the HTL as the Coastal Regulation Zone. It imposed 
restrictions on the setting up and expansion of 
industries, operations or processes etc in the said 
Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). For purposes of the 
Notification, the High Tide Line (HTL) is defined as the 
level up to which the highest point reached by the 
high tide during spring tides. 

The Notification also stated that the coastal States 
and Union Territories should prepare within a period 
of one year from the date of the Notification, Coastal 
Zone Management Plans identifying and classifying 
the CRZ areas within their respective territories in 
accordance with the guidelines given in Annexure I 
and II of the Notification and that these plans are to 
be approved (with or without modifications) by the 
Central Government in the Ministry of Environment 
and Forests. 

The CRZ notification follows a classification 
system for the CRZ based on their ecological and 
geomorphological characteristics and on the nature 
of anthropogenic presence in these areas. 

1. CRZ-I (i) is to comprise areas that are ecologically 
sensitive such as national parks, sanctuaries, 
wildlife habitats, mangroves, coral reefs, areas 
close to breeding and spawning grounds of fish 
and other marine life, areas of outstanding natural 
beauty/heritage, areas likely to be inundated due 
to a rise in sea level resulting from global warming 
and such other areas as may be declared by the 
Central Government or the concerned authorities 
at the State/Union Territory level from time to 
time. 

2. CRZ-I (ii) are those areas lying between the Low 
Tide Line and the High Tide Line. 

3. CRZ-II areas are those already developed up to or 
close to the shoreline. This refers to areas within 
municipal limits or in other legally designated 
urban areas provided with drainage, approach 
roads, water supply, etc. 

4. CRZ-III areas are those which are relatively 
undisturbed and do not belong to either CRZ I or 
II. These include the coastal zone in rural areas 
(developed and undeveloped) and those within 



municipal limits or in legally designated urban 
areas that are not substantially built up. 
5. CRZ-IV are the coastal stretches in Andaman and 
Nicobar, Lakshadweep and small islands, except 
those designated as CRZ-I, CRZ-II or CRZ-III. 

5.3. Implementing Agencies 

The responsibility of implementing the CRZ 
Notification rests with the State Governments and 
the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). On 
26 November 1998, the MoEF constituted 13 State 
Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMAs), one 
for each of the coastal states and Union Territories 
and a National Coastal Zone Management Authority 
(NCZMA) to monitor and implement the provisions of 
the CRZ Notification. The National and State CZMAs 
also have the powers to enforce the clauses of the 
notification and address violations using the penal 
clauses in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. 

The SCZMAs have a fairly extensive and important 
mandate, empowered to "take action and issue 
directions". They can identify ecologically sensitive 
and economically important areas, implement 
all provisions of the CRZ Notification including 
recommending projects for clearance to the central 
and state governments. 

The Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority 
was first constituted vide amendment. S.O. No. 
992(E) 26th November 1998. Its term has been 
extended periodically and on the 31st March 2005, 
its term was renewed once again. 

In particular, the CZMAs are empowered to carry out 
the following: 

1. Enquire into cases of alleged violations and issue 
directions under Section 5 of the Environment 
(Protection) Act, 1986. 

2. Review cases of violations and refer such cases to 
the NCZMA. 

3. Take action to verify the facts related to the cases 
ofviolations. 

4. File complaints underthe Environment (Protection) 
Act, 1986. 

5. Deal with environmental issues referred to it. 

6. It has a proactive responsibility of identifying 
ecologically sensitive areas along the coastal 
stretches and economically important areas and 
formulating specific management plans for these 
areas. 

7. Such plans are to be authorised by the NCZMA. 




8. Their most significant function however, is 
examining all proposals for projects in the CRZ 
areas before the relevant agencies such as the 
Central Government or the State Governments/ 
Administrations of UTs approve these projects. 

However, it is not clear if the TNCZMP (Tamil Nadu 
Coastal Zone Management Plan) actually approves 
all activities that are located on the Tamil Nadu coast 
or whether this function has been further delegated. 
It is to be noted that further delegation will not be 



possible, since this Authority was created for the 
specific purpose of examining development activities 
on the coast. 

Although the CRZ notification is correct in focusing 
on concerns about unregulated development along 
the coast and in aiming at a balance between use 
and protection of the coast, some critical gaps in the 
notification make it very difficult to work on these 
concerns. They are common to the implementation of 
the notification in all coastal areas of the country. 



Table 5 
Rdles df agencies and institutions with respect td coastal regulation 



Agency/ 
Institution 


Role 


MoEF 


Clearance to certain activities as per Para 2 and 3 (also has to be as per CZMP) 


State Government / UT 


Clearance to all other permissible and regulated activities (as per CZMP) 


SCZMA 


Identify and Classify CRZ areas 

Examine proposals for changes of categorisation and CZMP 

Make recommendations to NCZMA about these changes 

Identify ecologically sensitive areas or areas needing special attention 

Assess projects proposed in CRZ areas and make suggestions to the Central Government 
on its approval/rejection. 

Approve and monitor residential constructions besides industrial projects File cases of 
non-compliance of conditions imposed under EPA or CRZ under Section 19 of EPA 

Inquire into CRZ violations (suo motto or on complaints) 

Issue directions to violators under Section 5 of EPA 

Deal with issues directed by Central Government or State Government or NCZMA 

Ensure compliance of SCZMP 


NCZMA 


Approve State CZMPs 


District administration, 
District level CZMA lS 


Suggest changes in CRZ categorization 



5.4. DlLUTIDNS 

Since 1991, there have been 20 amendments and 3 
corrigenda (up to January 2005) to the provisions of 
the Notification. Each of these amendments dilutes 
and introduces newer clauses that complicate and 
render many of the protective clauses meaningless. 



District 




A CHRDNDLDGYDF AMENDMENTS & EVENTS 19 RELATED 
TD THE CRZ NDTIFICATIDN IN THE CDNTEXT DF TAMIL 
NADU & PDNDICHERRY 



Date df 

amendment/drder/ 
event &. legal 

CLAUSES 



Details / comments / features 



31 st December 1992 



• Intense pressure from hotel & tourism lobby on Govt, of India that the restrictions 

under CRZ severely limited their scope of work. 

• As a consequence, the BB Vohra Committee set up by the Central Government 

to study the CRZ Notification and its implications and submitted its report with 
recommendations to Gol on December 31, 1992. 

• S.O 690(E) Corrigendum dated 19 th September 1994 rectified that the BB Vohra 

Committee was set up to look into 'tourism, and hotel facilities in the said zone' 
(i.e. CRZ) 



11" 1 November 1993 
S.O. 859 (E) 



Based on pressure from the tourism lobby, amendments were proposed to CRZ 

Notification 

A draft notification was issued inviting objections and suggestions from the 

public. 



18" 1 August 1994 later 

changed to 16" 1 August 1994 

vide Corrigendum dated 19 th 

September 1994 

S.O. 595 (E) 

EPA, 3 (2)(v), 3(1) 

EP Rules 5(3)(a), 5(3)(d) 



• Amendment stated that HTLwasto be demarcated by demarcating authority 

constituted by Gol in consultation with Surveyor General. 

• Importantly, the resultant amendment, in clarifying the meaning of HTL: 

- Significantly amended the mandatory CRZ of 100m for rivers, creeks, etc to 
50m 

- Gave expansive powers to Central Government, which could now grant 
permission for construction on the landward side within 200m from HTL (i.e. 
No Development Zone {NDZ}) according to its discretion. 

• Did not allow for flattening of sand dunes while landscaping, but allowed live and 
barbed fencing and conditional construction of basements. 

■ Goal posts, net posts, lamp posts were allowed. 

■ Basements were permitted subject to receipt of No Objection Certificate from State 

Ground Water Authority and provided it would not obstruct the free flow of ground 
water. 

■ Permitted plot falling in NDZ areas to be included for FSI calculation, although no 
construction would be permitted in NDZ. 



18" 1 April 1996 

The Supreme Court's judgment 

in the Indian Council for Enviro 

Legal Action case: 

Writ Petition (Civil) 664 of 1993 

I.A19 of 1995 by The Goa 

Foundation, India Heritage 

Society (Goa chapter), Nirmal 

Vishwa. 



The SC dealt with two main contentions of the petitioner; that of non-implementation 

of the notification and the validity of the 1994 amendment. 
• The SC quashed 3 of the proposed amendments of August 1994: 

- The relaxation of CRZ limits to 50m from 100m limit for rivers, creeks, etc. 

- Unbridled power granted to the Central Government 

- The area of NDZ to be taken into account while calculating FSI-FAR be 100 per 

cent. (FSI-FAR indexes, it was decreed, could take into account only 50 per cent 
of NDZ in its calculations.) 

Regarding the Notification implementation, the Supreme Court: 

- Pulled up enforcement authorities for dereliction of duties, while directing 
authorities to implement the Notification. The court further commented that 
a single authority may not be able to monitor the CRZ, and suggested the 
constitution of State and National Coastal Zone Management Authorities, 
which could also draw upon the resources of NGOs to help implement laws. 

- Ruled that CRZ for rivers be reinstated as a minimum of 100m in the absence of 
adequate justification to reduce it to 50m, and quashed the move to grant the 
Central Government arbitrary "unguided and uncanalised" powers to grant 

permissions for relaxation of NDZ limits. In addition, the court directed that 



EQUATIONS gratefully acknowledges Ms. Aarthi Sridhar (ATREE) for her efforts and contributing the table for this report. 



Date df 

amendment/drder/ 
event &. legal 

CLAUSES 



Details / comments / features 



CZMPs of all coastal states and union territories must be submitted by end June 

1996, and set the date of hearing compliance of submission and finalisation 

regarding this for September 1996. 

Directed that in matters dealing with local geographical areas, the High 

Court must see that the law is enforced and hear complaints made by local 

inhabitants. The Supreme Court would only scrutinise matters regarding 

approval of CZMPs, or any suggested modifications in existing classification of 

areas. 

Issued show cause notices to the chief secretaries of states of Andhra Pradesh, 

Karnataka, Gujarat and Kerala for not having submitted their management 

plans as directed in interim orders issued earlier. 

Finally, ruled that till the CZMPs are finalised, the interim orders mentioned 

above would continue to operate. 



9 th July 1997 
S. 0. No. 494(E) 
EPA3(i) >3 (2)(v), 
EPRules 5 (3)(a),5(4) 



• No objections were invited for this amendment. 

• The Court has issued no orders to date. 

• The rationale was that State Governments had expressed need for several essential 

facilities to be constructed in the coastal zones. 

• Several provisions of the amendment continue to be operative. 



29 th December 1998 
S.O 1122(E) 
EPA 3 (i), 3 (2)(v), 
EP Rules 5 (3)(a), 5(4) 



• No objections were invited for this amendment. 

• The Central Government is said to have deliberated upon and decided to simplify 

procedure for demarcation of HTL, which it laid down in this notification 

• The HTL is defined as the line on land up to which the highest water line reaches 

duringspringtide 

• The amendment lays down that HTL shall be demarcated uniformly in all parts 
of the country by demarcating authority or authorities so authorised by Central 
Government, in accordance with general guidelines issued in this regard. 

• However these have not been spelt out in the Notification. 



Draft amendment dated 
5 th August 1999 
S.O 692(E) 
EPA 3 (i), 3 (2)(v),6 



• Objections were invited to this amendment 

• The notification states that inhabitants of the CRZ area have faced difficulties and 

there is a need for infrastructure facilities along the coast 

• It sought once again to reduce CRZ for rivers, creeks and backwaters to 50m based 

on certain conditions. 

• It also stated that for permitted facilities for storage of petroleum products in 
Annexure- III, both MoEFandMoST were involved depending on location of project 
and port limits (port limits are those that have been notified as such before the 
9th July 1997 amendment) 

• Facilities for receipt, storage and regasification of Liquefied Natural Gas were 
permitted according to guidelines issued by MoPNG and MoEF. 

• It permitted salt harvesting in CRZ-I areas between the LTL and HTL provided they 
were not classified as CRZ-I 

• It removed the authority for permitting construction along CRZ-III areas, which was 

introduced by the 9th July 1997 amendment. 

• Permission for construction required for 'local inhabitants' is to be granted by 
either the Centre or State or any designated authority (however it is not specified 
which of these is the final authority). The amendment lays down more conditions 
under which such construction maybe permitted. 

• Constructions in CRZ -III between 200-500111 from HTL, were previously permitted 
for meeting traditional rights and customary uses. The words 'local inhabitants' 
have replaced the previous words 'traditional rights and customary uses'. The term 
local inhabitant used in this clause and elsewhere in the notification is defined as 
a person or his descendants who have been inhabiting in the area prior to the 19th 
February, 1991. 




Date df 

amendment/drder/ 
event &. legal 

CLAUSES 



Details / cdmments / features 



• Relaxations were made for reconstruction / alteration of existing buildings allowing 

for horizontal landward extension of dwelling unit not exceeding a total plinth 
area of loom. 

• It made 'exploration for extraction of oil and natural gas in CRZ a permissible 

activity requiring permission from the MoEF'. 



4 th August 2000 

S.O 730 (E) 

EPA 3(1), 3 (2)(v), 6 



• The amendment is the final notification for 5 th August 1999 draft amendment. 

• The amendment states that all objections and suggestions relating to oil and 
natural gas exploration ; procedure for according clearance to storages of specified 
petroleum products and receipt, storage and regasification of LNG and points 
raised by the petitioner in Delhi High Court in civil writ petition No. 4198/98 have 
been duly considered by the Central Government 

• This final amendment to earlier draft retained only two of proposed changes and 
withdrew the rest. 

• The changes were ones related to para 2(ii) about facilities for receipt, storage and 

regasification of LNG, which was permitted according to guidelines issued by the 
MoPNG and MoEF and 3(2)00 about exploration for oil and gas in the CRZ. 



12 th April 2001 
S.O 329(E) 
EPA 3(1), 3 (2)(v), 
EP Rules 5 (3)(a), 5(4) 



• No objections were invited for this amendment. 

• Projects of Department of Atomic Energy were exempted from prohibition. 

• Facilities for receipt and storage of petroleum products and LNG as specified in 
Annexure III appended to the Notification and facilities for regasification of LNG 
were permitted provided certain guidelines were followed. 

• The delegation of powers to accord clearances to MoST were withdrawn. 

• Land reclamation etc was permitted for certain activities provided that reclamation 

for was not done for commercial purposes such as shopping and housing 
complexes, hotels and entertainment activities. 
•Mining of sands, rocks and other substrata materia Is was permitted for exploration 
and extraction of oil and natural gas 

• Construction activities related to projects of Department of Atomic Energy were 
treated as permissible activities requiring permission from the MoEF. 

• Operational constructions for ports, harbours and light houses and constructions 
for activities such as jetties, wharves, quays and slipways, pipelines, conveying 
systems including transmission lines were also added to permissible activities 
needing MoEF clearances. 

• Projects relating to Department of Atomic Energy and (b) Pipelines, conveying 
systems including transmission lines were permitted in CRZ-I (i) areas 

• In the CRZ-I area, exploration and extraction of natural gas was permitted. 

• The West Bengal CZMA was made responsible for according permission for 
construction of dispensaries, schools, public rain shelters, community toilets, 
bridges, roads, jetties, water supply, drainage, sewerage which are required for 
traditional inhabitants of the Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve 

•The amendment permitted storage of petroleum products specified in the Annexure 
in any part of CRZ other than CRZ-I areas. Previously this was restricted only to 
port areas. 

• LNG was added to list of petroleum products on Annexure III 

• Environmental clearances accorded by MoST from 9th July 1997 till publication of 
this Notification are valid. All proposals for environmental clearance pending with 
MoST stand transferred to MoEF from date of publication of this Notification. 




Date df 

amendment/order/ 

EVENT <Sc LEGAL 
CLAUSES 



Details / comments / features 



11 th January 2002 
Draft amendment 
S.O 51(E) 

EPA 3(1), 3 (2)(v), 6 
EP Rules 5(3)(a), 



• The rationale for this amendment is stated to be: 

-The inhabitants of areas falling within CRZ are facing difficulties and there is a 
need for infrastructural facilities in these areas. 

- The Centra! Government is stated to have had consultations with state 
governments and taken a decision to permit construction of dwelling units and 
development of infrastructural facilities for local inhabitants; housing schemes 
of Urban Development Authorities which had been approved prior to 19th 
February 1991, facilities and activities including setting up of non polluting 
industries in the field of information technology and other service industries 
in the Special Economic Zones, and salt harvesting by solar evaporation of sea 
water in the said zone. 
■ It introduced a 90-day time limit for assessment of projects and 30 days for 

conveying a decision on the clearance status of projects proposed within the 

CRZ. 

• It introduced the same provisions (with slight modifications) for the Note of Para 
1 (i) of the notification that the 5th August 1999 draft amendment introduced. 
This was despite these proposed provisions of 5th August 1999 draft amendment 
being excluded in the subsequent amendments dated 4th August 2000 and 12th 
April 2001, and 3rd October 2001. 

•The draft amendment exempted "non polluting industries in the field of information 
technology and other service industries in the CRZ of Special Economic Zones" 
from prohibitions as Para 2 (i) (c). 

• It sought to exclude mining of certain minerals under Atomic Energy Act, 1962 from 

the prohibited activities clause, subject to EIA studies and an approved mining 
plan. 

• Housing schemes in CRZ area, mining of rare minerals and specified activities/ 
facilities in SEZ were to be permissible activities requiring clearances from MoEF 

• Salt harvesting by solar evaporation of sea water was to be permitted in CRZ-I 
areas 

• In CRZ-II areas, exemption was made for housing schemes of State Urban 
Development Authorities 

• Further relaxations were sought for CRZ-III areas, based on similar changes 
proposed in 5th August 1999 draft amendment. All activities within SEZs were 
permitted. 

• This amendment substitutes the words 'local inhabitants' for traditional rights or 

customary uses. 

• The notification replicates all other provisions of the 5th August 1999 draft 
amendment as far as relaxations for constructions for 'local inhabitants' 
etc are concerned despite most of these being omitted in subsequent final 
amendments. 



21 st May 2002 
S.O 550(E) 
EPA 3(1), 3 (2)(v), 
EP Rules 5(3) 



The amendment is the final notification for the draft 11" 1 Jan 2002 amendment. 

It redefined distance up to which CRZ is measured along the rivers, creeks etc, as 

up to the point where a minimum salinity level of 5 ppt is recorded. 

All the provisions that were common to the 5 th August 1999 draft and the n lh 

January 2002 draft were struck down by this final amendment. 

It permitted "non-polluting industries in the field of information technology and 

other service industries in CRZ of Special Economic Zones (SEZ)" 

It retained the time limit on assessment of project documents that was proposed 

in the n lh January 2002 draft. 

Certain changes were made to activities permitted in CRZ I, II & III zones. 




Date df 

amendment/drder/ 
event &. legal 

CLAUSES 


Details / comments / features 


19 th October 2002 
S.O 1100 (E) 
EPA 3 (i) )3 (2)(v) > 
EP Rules 5(3)8. (4) 


• No objections were invited for this amendment. It was issued in 'public interest' 
using Rule 5(4) of the EP Rules 

• Rationale was 'to harmonise 8. elaborate provisions of the Notification' and to 
provide permission for setting up of certain projects that were presumably in 
public interest. 

• It stated that clearances given for activities in CRZ area were valid for 5 years before 
which construction or operations should commence. However further actions have 
not been elaborated on, for instance, on adherence to clearance conditions. 

• The following activities required MoEF clearances to be set up in CRZ areas: 

- In CRZ-I areas installation of weather radar for monitoring of cyclone movement 
and prediction by Indian Meteorological Department was permitted. 

- In the CRZ-I between HTL and LTL, the following was permitted: desalination 
plants, storage of non-hazardous cargo such as edible oil, fertilizers and food 
grain within notified ports. 

- In CRZ II and III areas list of products in Annexure III was permitted subject to 
conditions mentioned in Para 2(ii). 


22 nd April 2003 
S.O 460(E) 
EPA 3(2)(i), 3 (2)(v) 
EP Rules 5(3), 5(4) 


• This amendment was issued using the public interest clause without inviting 
objections to the same. 

• Rationale given by Central Government was that it had been informed that large 
sized projects were beingimplemented without clearance from MoEFand thatthis 
resulted in destruction of mangroves, depletion of ground water and certain other 
activities involving ecological damage. 

• It sought to add a few more activities to list of permissible activities requiring 
environmental clearance from MoEF. There were: 

- The demolition or reconstruction of buildings of archaeological or historical 
importance, heritage buildings and buildings under public use (defined in the 
amendment as including 'use for purposes of worship, education, medical care 
and cultural activities. 

• All other activities involving an investment of less than five crore rupees were 
to be regulated by the State level authorities in keeping with provisions of the 
Notification in Annexure 1; any project costing more than five crores required 
clearance from MoEF 


24 th June 2003 
S.0. 7 2 5 (E) 
EPA 3 (i),3(2)(v) 
EP Rules 5(3). 5(4) 


• The notification introduced another clause under norms for development for CRZ 
IV for setting up of facilities for treatment of wastes and effluents arising from 
hotels, beach resorts 8. domestic sewage and disposal of treated wastes and 
effluents in areas other than CRZ-I 

• This was to be based on a detailed scientific study to assess environmental impact 
of the same. 


24 th July 2003 
S.O.838 (E) 
EPA 3(2X1). 3(2)(v) 
EP Rules 5(3). 5(4) 


• This amendment was issued using the public interest clause without inviting 
objections to the same. 

• The amendments were introduced by Central Government after it had considered 
specific requirements of projects relating to Department of Atomic Energy in terms 
of their location 




Analysis of 
Notification: 



amendments made to the CRZ 



did not provide guidelines for marking the HTL. 
The HTL has not been marked to date. 



1. Reduction in the No-Development Zone for 
promotion of tourism 

- The first amendment to the Notification was made 
because of pressure from the tourism lobby. 

-The amendment was vide notification no. S.O. 
595(E) dated 18th Aug 1994 on recommendations 
of the Vohra Committee, which was constituted 
on 1st Jan 1992 and report submitted on 31st 
Dec 1992. The issue dealt with was tourism. The 
reason for the constitution of the committee was 
that there was intense pressure from the hotel 
and tourism lobby on the GOI stating that the 
said notification was very stringent and their 
work was severely restricted by the CRZ. 

-One of the recommendations of the Committee 
was reduction of distance of the NDZ in selected 
coastal stretches for promoting tourism. The 
Ministry amended the CRZ Notification, 1991 on 
18th Aug 1994, reducing No Development Zone 
(NDZ) area all along the coast from 200m to 50m. 
The amendment also permitted construction in 
NDZ thus giving expansive powers to the central 
government to permit such constructions on 
the landward side within 200m from the HTL 
according to its discretion. 

- Although the SC quashed the amendments later, 
the tendency of MoEF to dilute its own laws 
raises concerns about where its loyalties lie 
- a facilitator of impact inducing developments 
rather than that of a regulator. 

-The NDZ reduction was eventually reduced to 
50m in the case of A&N Islands and Lakshadweep 
for tourism development through amendment of 
amendment, S.O.838 (E), 24th July 2003 against 
the directives of SC in 2002, which were based on 
Shekhar Singh Committee report. The relaxation 
was based on identification of areas in NDZ by 
the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan 
study conducted by the MoEF. The MoEF may 
adopt a similar procedure in the future for areas 
on the mainland so that the tourism industry can 
be given open access to coastal areas - this is an 
area to watch out for in the near future. 

2. Demarcation of High Tide Line 

S.O 1122(E) dated 29th December 1998 only gave 
the definition of the HTL and stated that it will 
be marked by an authority. It is surprising that 7 
years after the Notification was issued, the central 
government did not specify which authority and 



3. Construction for petroleum storage to be allowed 
in CRZ II & III 

S.O 730 (E) dated 4th August 2000 permitted 
storage of petroleum and its products thereby 
posing a threat to coastal environment. This 
also meant allowing construction in these areas 
includingthe NDZ. 

4. Exploration of oil and natural gas allowed 

The amendment no. S.O 730 (E) dated 4th August 

2000 gave a blanket allowance of oil and natural 
gas exploration could take place on an extensive 
basis in CRZ. It could trigger off land acquisition 
process by government, following which there 
can be changes in land use. Mining in CRZ areas, 
including CRZ-I has also been permitted by 
amendment no. S.O 329(E) dated 12th April 2001. 
While the need is important, it is equally important 
to ensure certain safeguards for environmental 
protection, which the CRZ Notification has not 
specified clearly. 

5. Land reclamation allowed 

Amendment no. S.O 329(E) dated 12th April 

2001 allowed reclamation of land for 'certain 
activities', which have not been defined. However, 
reclamation for commercial purposes has been 
prohibited. There is ambiguity in the term 'certain 
activities' that could still lead to unwanted impacts 
on coastal ecosystems. 

6. Setting up of non-polluting industries in field of IT 
and other service industries in Special Economic 
Zones 

Amendment no. S.O 550(E) dated 21st May 2002, 
by allowing such 'service industries', only opened 
up the CRZ areas for resource intensive and 
negatively impacting activities like tourism. SEZs 
have been controversial because of the status they 
enjoy, especially exemption from environmental 
norms. The process of demarcating SEZs has also 
been undemocratic in nature. Hence the CRZ only 
legitimises such negatively impacting activities if 
they come in protection of SEZ. 

There are positive sides to the CRZ Notification too, 
e.g. classifying CRZ to include rivers, creeks etc, 
upto the point where a minimum salinity level of 
5 ppt is recorded, and for the first time in history 
of CRZ, the clause of Environment Protection Rules 




5(4) have been used to actually prevent further 
ecological damage, unlike earlier instances where 
the same clause has been used to relax provisions 
of the Notification and allowing more and more 
activities on coasts. But where the Notification 
fails miserably is in its poor implementation by 
state governments & union territories. It has also 
been interpreted inconsistently due to many of its 
provisions that are ambiguous and incomplete, 
like lack of guidelines for demarcating HTL. One 
glaring aspect is that the Ministry of Environment & 
Forests has succumbed to the development lobby, 
first from tourism and later others. It has frequently 
sought, and actually managed, to dilute it. It has 
rendered the CRZ Notification an instrument to plan 
and execute developmental activities rather than 
protect the highly pressurised coastal systems. 




KEY FINDINGS & 

RECDMMENDATIDN5 

The health of the coast is not only dependent on the 
activities taking place within it and their impacts but 
on the various activities taking place in non coastal 
areas and their extended consequences on the coast. 
While the regulations governing activities on the 
coast are critical to ensure its well being, there are 
a whole host of legislations and processes, which 
govern development activities. 

1. Jurisdiction - One of the limitations of the CRZ 
notification is that it does not regulate anything 
beyond the coastal regulation zones. While the 
CZMP could address some of the activities beyond 
the 500m or 200m area on the basis that although 
they may be outside the CRZ, they potentially 
impact the CRZ, the effective regulation of the 
gamut of activities that have the potential to 
impact the coast can only be achieved if other laws 
governing development projects, urbanisation 
and economic growth incorporate these concerns. 
Many port related activities and other off shore 
activities are therefore not adequately regulated. 
There is a critical need to examine these laws and 
determine the changes that are needed in them so 
that these concerns may be addressed. 
Actions needed: 

1.1 Extend the Jurisdiction of CRZ to include the inter- 
tidal area in all zones 

1.2 Urgent need to extend the CRZ seaward after 
detailed study to ascertain the area for impact 
from land based activities 

Action by: MoEF 

2. Ambiguity - None of the amendments have 
sought to clarify some of the other ambiguities 
and uncertainties such as the definition of 'local 
inhabitants', 'traditional rights and customary 
uses' 

The MoEF has still not issued a consolidated 
gazetted notification incorporating all the 
changes to the original notification making 
the interpretation of the various clauses a real 
challenge. 
Action needed: 
2.1. Definition of local inhabitants and 'traditional 
rights and customary uses' to be defined and 
identified in the context of the CRZ notification. 
Action by: Civil Society and Government in 
consultation with local coastal communities 



3. Demarcation of the CRZ - The HTL and LTL are to 
be demarcated only by authorities designated by 
the Central Government but the Government of 
India is still in the process of arriving at a common 
methodology for HTL/LTL demarcation. In none of 
the states has the HTL demarcation exercise been 
completed at the ground level. 

Action needed: 
3.1. Demarcation of the HTL and the LTL needs to be 
done at the earliest 

Action by: NCZMA and SCZMA in consultation with 
local Panchayats. 

4. At present no specific EIA procedures and 
guidelines for project clearance are mandated in 
the schemes of the CRZ. 

The present procedures for environmental 
clearance are not laid down in the notification. It 
is not known if a standard procedure has evolved 
through practice. Therefore it is impossible to 
know if existing procedures are coherent or 
adequate in assessing potential impacts of 
proposed projects. 
Action needed: 
4.1. Detailed project clearance guidelines need to be 
given in the CRZ notification complimented by EIA 
procedures for all project clearances 
Action by: the NCZMA and SCZMA 

5. The central and state level processes of granting 
clearance to projects proposed in CRZ areas, needs 
to be clearly understood through several case 
studiesof cleared projectscoveringvarious sectors 
and activities. Following this, a detailed critique 
of the process should be developed for the MoEF, 
which will highlight its strengths, weaknesses and 
recommendations to enhance effectiveness of the 
process as per ICZM objectives. Good practices 
that are part of clearance processes under the EIA 
notification and other laws could be incorporated 
into the CRZ clearance process. As in the case of the 
EIA notification, the CRZ notification should have 
one or more schedules that clearly list the kinds of 
projects mandating clearance from state or central 
government agencies. This study will help to 
evolve recommendations for the strengthening of 
the clearance process and incorporation of good 
practices like public hearings before granting 
clearance to projects. 

Action needed: 
5.1. In order to understand the true status of 
implementation of the CRZ notification until now, 
detailed studies exploring the following questions 




will need to be undertaken: 

a. How many of the development activities on the 
coast have been established legitimately following 
all due legal regulatory procedures? 

b. How many of the legally established units comply 
with the conditions imposed on them? 

c. How many units have been established without 
following all the environmental regulatory 
procedures? 

Action by: Peoples Movements and Networks, Civil 
Society Organizations in consultation with the 
SCZMA. 
5.2. SCZMA suo moto needs to remove the ambiguity 
in its functioning by bringing into the public 
realm and disclosing practices they use to give 
clearances for projects 

6. The only means of prosecuting the violator of 
the CRZ notification is under Section 19 of the 
Environment (Protection) Act, 1996. No court can 
take cognisance of an offence unless put forth by 
the Central Government (CG) or any authority or 
Central government authorised officer. Further, 
any person who has given a notice of sixty days 
showing his intention to file a complaint to the 
government can also make a complaint before 
the court after expiry of 60 days and the court can 
take cognisance on such a complaint (Upadhyay 
& Mishra 2005). This process gives the violator 
ample time to 'clean up' every time he may be 
found violating the law. This is especially true in 
the case of violation of pollution norms. 

7. There are several specialised regulations that 
govern the activities mentioned in the CRZ. One 
such example is the regulation of aquaculture. 
The apex court in the matter of S. Jagannath Rao 
(S. Jagannath Rao vs. Union of India 1997 (1) AD 
SC 81) stated that permission for setting up any 
shrimp farm or shrimp pond in any ecologically 
fragile coastal area must be given only after a 
strict environmental test has been done. The 
union government was directed to constitute 
an authority for scrutinising every aquaculture 
application from the environmental point of view. 
The authority is called the National Aquaculture 
Authority (Upadhyay & Misra, 2005). It is important 
to study these specialised regulations and develop 
linkages between the implementation of the 
CRZ notification and these regulations. Another 
example of where the study of regulations and 
developing linkages is critical is between town 
and country planning laws, building regulations 



and CRZ. 
Action needed: 
7.1. The linkages between other laws like Town and 
Country Planning; Building regulations and CRZ 
need to be synergised by MOEF 

8. The Panchayati Raj Institutions Act, (PRIA) gives 
adequate powers to the panchayats to define and 
regulate developmental activities in areas under 
their jurisdiction. However the CRZ, by giving the 
powers to the SCZMA, overrides the rights and 
powers of coastal panchayats. This is clear from 
the fact that panchayats have no representation in 
the SCZMA. 

Action needed: 
8.i.The CRZ should be synergized with the PRIA 
for implementation of CZMP. Representation of 
panchayats in the SCZMA needs to be ensured. A 
clause in this regard needs to be included the CRZ 
Notification to reflect the synergies with PRIA. 
Action by: MoEF 

9. The Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management 
Authority is vested with certain powers and duties 
for protecting and improving the quality of the 
coastal environment and preventing, abating and 
controlling environmental pollution in the coastal 
areas of the state of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu 
Coastal Zone Management Authority's function is 
to regulate and monitor the activities in the coastal 
stretches. It is entrusted with the task of protection 
of coastal environment including examination of 
the project proposals. Ironically the term of the 
Coastal Zone Management Authority got over 
by the 5th January 2005, and the new authority, 
which comprises of similar members, was formed 
in March 2005. It is importantto note thatthe state 
did not reconstitute CZMA when the rehabilitation 
phase was at its peak. 

The following are suggestions to make the CZMA 
effective in performing its functions. 
Actions needed: 

9.1. The Governments of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry 
and the MoEF should provide for the independent, 
responsive and transparent functioning of the 
State CZMA. 

9.2. The Governments of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry 
need to reconstitute district level committees 
constituted by the CZMA through maximum public 
participation and involvement of local governing 
bodies, especially the panchayats of fishing 
villages. 

9.3. A mechanism should be devised to make officials 




personally liable in case they fail to take action 
against violations. 
9.4. Public access must be provided to all proceedings 
of the authorities, including minutes, copies of 
complaints, applications for approvals, approvals 
and action taken reports. 

10. The execution of the functions of the State CZMAs 
across the coast could be greatly facilitated by the 
creation of District CZMAs whose basic functions 
would include: a) verification of details 20 of 
proposed activities in the CRZ areas, b) periodic 
monitoring of the coastal stretch to identify 
violationsofthe notification, c) bookingofviolators 
for violations of the EP Act and d) providing details 
of violations to the State CZMAs for necessary 
action (Sridhar, 2005) 

11. An appropriate and creative mechanism needs 
to be devised to make local coastal communities 
participate in the implementation of the CRZ 
notification and its regular monitoring. [Afsah 
et al. 1997] state that the role of the regulator is 
substantially reduced when reliable information 
is in the public domain (Afsah et al. 1997). There 
is increasing evidence that public information can 
increase the role of informal regulation and that 
informal regulation does play an important role in 
enforcement. 

12. Presently, the state Coastal Zone Management 
Plan has identified 31 maps and only 10 have 
been conditionally approved (Sridhar, 2005). 
The remaining 21 maps are to be approved by 
the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). 
In the current context of a conditionally approved 
CZMP, the state governments are evicting coastal 
communities by quoting the CRZ Notification. 

13. This situation is not specific to Tamil Nadu but 
all the coastal states of the country. None of the 
states have fully approved plans and the MoEF 
has only granted conditional approval for these 
plans. The states are expected to resubmit revised 
plans and maps. Since no state possesses a fully 
approved CZMP till date, implementation of the 
CRZ notification has been abysmal. Without a fully 
approved and operational CZMP, it is not possible 
to arrive at a clear or even quick estimation of 
areas where certain activities are permitted. The 
present status is that all over the Indian coastline, 
violations of the CRZ notification abound. 
Relative to the number of violations, in response, 



there has been insufficient punitive action from 
implementing agencies (Sridhar et al. 2005). 

lZj.ThecurrentCoastalZoneManagementPlanofTamil 
Nadu has not been formulated with participation 
of civil society groups, peoples' movements and 
networks and coastal community. It only serves the 
purposeofa status report and is nota management 
plan in its true sense, as it has no information on 
permissible and prohibited activities. It also does 
not lay down the limits or extent to which activities 
can be permitted, and parameters which will help 
to decide when a moratorium should be imposed 
on impacting activities. Further, it contains a 
perfunctory listing of CRZ areas; in many cases 
it falls short of performing even this task, and is 
devoid of a management vision that recognizes the 
challenges of a dynamic socio-ecological system. 

15. The CZMPs should also include area specific 
cumulative impact assessment studies, which 
give information about the prevalent levels of 
pollution and environmental damage due to 
ongoing activities in the area. Any proposal for 
clearance of a new project must be taken up only 
if it is proved that these levels of damage will not 
be enhanced by the proposed project. Thus along 
with location and potential impact of a proposed 
project, existing levels of damage in the area must 
be a critical parameter while deciding about new 
projects. 

Actions needed: 

15.1. The CZMP needs to be rewritten keeping in 
mind the context of current developments, 
including changes that may have been brought 
about by the tsunami, with full participation of all 
aforementioned stakeholders. 

15.2. The maps must be translated and disseminated 
widely. Access to the same should be mandatorily 
provided upto Panchayat level in Tamil for 
comments and approval, prior to it becoming an 
approved working document. 

15.3. The state government should also take immediate 
steps to identify erosion prone, tsunami affected 
areas and areas, which are likely to be inundated 
due to climate, change as CRZ I areas in the CZMP. 
Action by: The state government needs to direct 
the SCZMA to prepare the new CZMP's for Tamil 
Nadu and Pondicherry. 

16. Reporting of violations increases when the public 
is more aware of regulations and their importance. 
Therefore CRZ related information must be made 




Details could include distance of proposed construction from HTL, presence of authorised structures in the vicinity, physical characteristics of the area, 
violations of the notification etc 



publicly accessible and in user-friendly formats to 
encourage informal regulation of the law (Pargal et 
al. 1997). 

17. Amendments to the CRZ notification should not 
be made without extensive consultations with 
civil society groups and especially the coastal 
dwelling communities (fishing and non fishing 
communities). Most of the amendments so far 
have been to dilute the original stipulations to 
restrict destructive activities on the coast. Indeed, 
of the 19 amendments (as of 24th July 2003) to the 
notification, only three called for objections and 
suggestions from the public 21 . The content of these 
committee reports are therefore bereft of critical 
inputs on issues of ground level implementation 
and the current problems facing coastal areas 
(Sridharetal. 2005). 

18. There are also various orders of the High 
Courts in the country and their interpretation 
of the CRZ notification. It has been pointed 
out by environmental lawyers T. Mohan and 
Sahasranaman "in particular that the lackof clarity 
and definitions in the CRZ notification has led to 
varying interpretations by the courts" (Advocates T. 
Mohan and P.B Sahasranaman pers. comm. 2005). 
At the same time, the MoEF has issued circulars 
(e.g. the doctrine of 'infilling' or building between 
empty plots) from time to time. The legal status of 
these circulars is not clear. It is recommended that 
a follow-up review process be initiated to address 
these deficiencies with the CRZ notification 

19. It has been recommended that a Field Team be 
created with the responsibility to provide field 
information and verification of CRZ areas and 
details of anthropogenic activity to the Tamil Nadu 
State CZMA and the MoEF and assist the Tamil Nadu 
State CZMA in the identification of such zones and 
areas where rehabilitation and reconstruction can 
take place in accordance with the provisions of 
the CRZ Notification, bearing in mind livelihoods, 
environment and disaster mitigation concerns. 
The MoEF needs to be informed of this exercise 
should the Tamil Nadu Government consider the 
creation of the Field Team. In addition, the MoEF 
could consider issuing a notification/G.O/Circular 
expanding the functions of the TNSCZMA to also 
provide assistance to the Field Team (Sridhar 
2005). 



Several programmes have been undertaken by 
the state government to provide training to local 
communities and prospective entrepreneurs in 
shrimp farming and other economic activities. 
Information on these programmes undertaken by 
relevant department needs to be collected and 
the training content needs to include aspects 
of coastal management, ecology and protective 
regulations for the coast. Without these critical 
inputs at the training stage, it is not possible to 
expect CRZ compliance by new entrepreneurs. 

A similar exercise also needs to be done for all 
the trainings and capacity building programmes 
undertaken as part of post tsunami reconstruction. 
This will ensure that all activities undertaken will 
respect CRZ norms. The CRZ and other relevant 
regulations also need to be prominently mentioned 
in all GOs pertaining to reconstruction. 
Action needed: 
19.1. There is a need for capacity building at the 
community and panchayat level on the CRZ rules 
and guidelines 
Action by: state government with TNCZMA 

20. It is critical that the State Pollution Control Board 
declares areas such as Manali and Cuddalore as 
critically polluted areas. This exercise of identifying 
areas needs to be done by an independent set of 
expert agencies and NGOs working in the field of 
environmental pollution, toxics and health along 
with local community members. Once this is done, 
it must be ensured that clearances are not given to 
industries that add to the pollution load in these 
areas. 

Large coastal private plantations such as the one 
in the Vembalur area should be brought under 
some form of protection so that they are not 
converted into residential or commercial plots. 
Appropriate mechanisms need to be devised to 
provide motivation and economic incentives to 
the owners of such plantations so that they are not 
converted to other uses. 

Vedaranyam is an ecologically sensitive area, 
which was declared a wildlife sanctuary in March 
1968. However its protection has not been 
adequate. This may make it possible to improve 
the management of the wetlands and prevent its 
abuse through activities such as the establishment 
ofaquaculture farms in nearby areas, which impact 

21 Rule 5(3)(d) of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 requires that the Central Government issue a notification calling for objections and suggestions 
whenever it intends to introduce an amendment pertaining to the restrictions of activities. However, most of the amendments of the CRZ have been 
introduced using clause 5(4) of the Environment (Protection) Rules. 





these wetlands. 

Strict monitoring of use and protection of 
mangroves is also of utmost importance to keep our 
coasts stable and coastal communities protected. 
This again can be achieved only by creating a 
scheme on the lines of Joint Forest Management 
where local communities are involved in the 
protection and management of natural resource 
use. 

Action needed: 
20.1. It is important that Vedaranyam and several 
other wetlands be declared as wetlands of 
international importance under the RAMSAR 
convention. 
Action by: MoEF 

21. Encourage community based models of 
management 

22. Community based models of management and 
conservation especially in mangrove areas, such 
as community-based tools are to be encouraged 
for the purpose of increased ownership and 
responsibility. Similarly, traditional methods 
of beach conservation and protection must be 
encouraged and studied. 

Large areas of mangrove habitat has been 
destroyed and in many cases invaded by species 
such as Prosopis juliflora. Steps to study the 
reasons of mangrove habitat loss as well as 
their restoration should be undertaken. Invasive 
species like Prosopis should be removed as well 
as wherever ecosystem restorations are being 
undertaken, no exotics should be promoted. This 
is more so in the case of tourism areas where 
landscaping is permitted and the usual tendency 
is to have exotic varieties of plants. Shelterbelts 
like casuarinas are an option but it is better to 
allow for regeneration of natural vegetation as has 
been done in the case of Naalvedapathi. 

The Institute for Ocean Management, which is also 
part of the Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management 
Authority (CZMA), has identified the following 
sites under the category of Ecologically Important 
Areas 22 . It is not clear if these areas have any legal 
protection under the Environment Protection Act, 
1986, as is the case with Ecologically Sensitive 
Areas (ESAs). The CZMA is vested with the 
authority to identify areas as ESAs. Following 
the declaration of areas as ESAs, the nature of 

22 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/EiA%27s.htm 



activities that are to be permitted, regulated and 
prohibited will need to be clearly mentioned in 
each case through notifications, so that there is 
a clear framework for the effective protection of 
these areas on the basis of clear objectives. 
Action needed: 

22.1. The ecologically important coastal areas need 
to be declared as ecologically sensitive areas 
under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. 
Action by: MoEF 

22.2. A review of the policy of bio-shields, especially 
coastal plantations should be undertaken and all 
plantation and afforestation activities should be 
on hold till this review is undertaken. 

Action by: Department of Environment & 
Department of Forests, governments of Tamil 
Nadu; Pondicherry 

23. It is clear from observations that in certain 
coastal stretches, certain activities or units are 
being implemented far beyond a reasonable 
carrying capacity of the area. Their cumulative 
impacts are being felt on the ecosystem and on 
natural resources such as ground water. The 
ecosystem has been altered to such an extent by 
anthropogenic activities that they are unlikely to 
be able to revert to their original state or perform 
ecological functions as before. It therefore is 
necessary to undertake studies to identify the 
impacts being created by the present level of 
activity. Until such studies are undertaken, it may 
be necessary to place a moratorium on certain 
activities in identified coastal stretches, such as 
sand mining in the southern districts of Tirunelveli 
and Kanyakumari and entertainment parks and 
tourist villas and bungalows between Chennai 
and Mahabalipuram. 

The Swaminathan Committee report on the 
review of the CRZ notification recommended that 
well-known detrimental activities such as the 
construction of seawalls and sand mining should 
be banned from most areas. It also recommended 
that vacant plots in the coastal zone should be 
left open, permitting only vital activities on the 
coast. The committee recommended that tourism 
be promoted in identified zones under certain 
conditions in a conditional manner. 
Action needed: 

23.1. Cumulative impact assessment studies need 
to be undertaken before grant of clearance to any 
more projects on the coast. This is to address the 
additional environmental damage that may result 
from any new proposed project in a certain area. 



Action by: SCZMA to give directives to project 
proponents. 

23.2. Sector-wise studies also need to be undertaken 
to assess the extent to which economic benefits 
and employment are created for local communities 
by activities such as tourism and these need to 
be weighed against the costs incurred by the 
communities by these activities in the form of loss 
of resources and socio-cultural impacts. 

Action by: Government departments such as 
tourism 

23.3. These studies should seek to determine the 
activities that are to be permitted along the coast 
and at what scale. These studies need to maintain 
the health and basic needs of local communities 
and ecosystems as central goals. 

Suggestions specific to reconstruction activities 
It has been reported by UNDP that the CRZ 
Notification does not permit the construction 
of unauthorised structures and in fact stresses 
the legitimacy of all constructions along the 
coast. Since a large section of the marine fishing 
community is not in possession of land titles 
(a long standing demand of the fisherfolk), 
the Panchayats are unable to authorise their 
constructions. The numerous 'unauthorised 
constructions' by fisherfolk needs to seen in this 
light. There were several structures along the 
coasts which may not have been authorised and 
which were destroyed by the tsunami. Strictly 
speaking, the reconstruction of those structures 
and dwelling units that were unauthorised prior 
to the tsunami would not be permitted by the 
notification in any of the zones. As explained 
earlier, most of the settlers near the coast have 
been fisherfolk who are dependent on the coast 
for their livelihoods and survival. As per the CRZ 
Notification, such constructions can only be 
permitted in the CRZ II and III areas. However, it is 
expedient that a Coastal Settlement Process takes 
place immediately to accord land titlesfor dwelling 
purposes only to the existing fisherfolk, with full 
participation of the fishing Panchayats. This will 
assist in checking future unplanned growth while 
providingthe long-standingdemand of the fishing 
community for security of land tenure (UNDP 23 ). 

As per the GO 172 "all the house owners of fully 
damaged and partly damaged kutcha and pucca 
houses within 200m of the High Tide Line, will be 



given the choice to go beyond 200m, and get a 
newly constructed house worth Rs.1.50 lakh free 
of cost. Those who do not choose to do so will be 
permitted to undertake the repairs on their own in 
the existing locations, but they will not be eligible 
for any assistance from the Government." 

Currently, GO 172 issued by the Tamil Nadu 
government encourages communities to relocate 
beyond the 200 m mark. It provides a disincentive 
for being located within 200 metres, by denying 
government aid for reconstruction within 200 
metres. This is in violation of the very spirit 
of the CRZ recognising the right of the fishing 
communities and their livelihoods within the CRZ 
especially the 200 m zone. This can be construed 
to be a violation of human rights. However, NGOs 
are free to provide assistance to rehabilitation 
efforts within 200 metres. In all of this it must 
been seen that no construction is a violation of 
the provisions of the CRZ notification. For this to 
take place, the suggestions stated in the UNDP 
report must take place on the identification of CRZ 
areas and sites for rehabilitation (Sridhar 2005). 
Actions needed: 

23.4. The state government should make 
available to the civil society all land records/ 
relevant documents of pre and post 1991 land use 
patterns and constructions. These will contribute 
significantly to the ongoing reconstruction 
phase. 

23.5. Reconstruction of houses, settlements and 
other facilities that existed prior to the tsunami 
are to be allowed and no new constructions should 
be allowed. Reconstruction activities should not 
alter the local beach ecology and geomorphology, 
especially in the case of use of raw materials such 
as sand stone, sand, etc. The type of reconstruction 
should be as per those permitted within the 
CRZ rules and guidelines. Technical guidelines 
reconstruction of shelters should be prepared as 
tool for organisations involved in reconstruction. 

23.6. Since many NGOs new to the coast are 
developingfishinghamlets besides reconstruction 
of shelters, a guideline/key should be developed 
detailing all the activities and structures that are 
allowed in the different zones in the CRZ. 

23.7. An addendum to GO 172 is much needed to 
protect the CRZ that becomes free of habitation. 
The GO must indicate that the lands that get freed 
up on the coast will be protected and used only in 
a manner, which maintains the ecological balance 
of the coast, and no developmental activities will 



23 See http://www.undp.org.in/dmweb/Tsunami/CRZ_TN w annex March2005.pdf 




be undertaken unless proved as being beneficial 
to the ecology of the coast. These areas should be 
marked in the CZMPand special committees atthe 
district level, which comprise of representatives of 
the fishing communities, should determine the 
future use of these lands. 
23.8. The GO which allows district officials to acquire 
wetlands for the purpose of reconstruction and 
housing needs of tsunami affected families needs 
to specify a date after which such acquisition should 
not be allowed and the earlier GO which requires 
district officials to seek the state governments 
prior approval before such acquisitions should be 
restored. 




ANNEXURE 1 



FACTUAL INFORMATION SUPPLEMENT TAMIL NAOU 



Tamil Nadu 24 

(8° 5' N to 13 35' N and 76° 15' E to 8o° 20' E), the 
southern most state of the Indian peninsula is spread 
over 1,30,058 km2 and accounts for about 4 percent 
of the total area of the country. The topography of 
Tamil Nadu broadly consists of the coastal plains 
in the east and uplands and hills as one proceeds 
westwards. The plains account for more than half the 
area of the state 25 . 

Barring the hills, the climate of Tamil Nadu can 
be classified as semi-arid tropical monsoonal. 
Temperatures range from a maximum ofabout45°Cin 
the plains in summer to about io°C during the winter. 
Annual rainfall in the state is about 950mm with an 
average of 50 rainy days a year. 

It is found that 43% of Tamil Nadu's geographical 
area is under agriculture with a per capita figure of 
0.0982 ha. of agricultural land. While agriculture 
and allied sectors account for nearly 62% of the 
total employment of the state, their contribution to 
the economy is only 22%. In order to increase the 
productivity, the state has relied too much on improved 
crop varieties, fertiliser and pesticides. The residues 
of these have affected soil structure and polluted the 
water through leaching. Tamil Nadu has 17.5% of its 
area under forest cover, of which a sizeable area is 
degraded. The state has rich biodiversity resources 
but adequate attention has not been paid in the past 
to assess it effectively, with the result many species 
have become endangered. 

Tamil Nadu has number of seasonal rivers. The 
surface water resources are almost fully harnessed by 
impoundingthe available water in 61 major reservoirs 
and also in 39,202 big and small tanks. As per the 
estimates, 60% of the ground water resources have 
also been utilised. During 1996-1997, the total fish 
production from inland fishing was 1.01 lakh tonnes, 
marine fish products were in the order of 3.56 lakh 
tonnes. The potential for inland fishing has not been 
utilised completely and coastal waters have also 
been polluted resulting in decreased catch per unit 
effort. The long coastline of over 1000 km is a major 
natural resource with immense value for commercial, 
recreational and aesthetic purposes. Agricultural 

2 * http://www.environment.tn.nic.in/StateofEnv.htm 
25 http://www.environment.tn.nic.in/StateofEnv.htm 



run off with pesticide residues and indiscriminate 
destruction of mangroves for fuel wood poses threats 
to this ecosystem. 

Socio-economic profile 

Tamil Nadu is the third industrialised and the 
most urbanised state in the country. The impact 
of industrialisation and urbanisation on the 
environment is substantial as evidenced from the 
rise in hazardous and biomedical waste generation, 
increasing vehicular population and consequent 
increase in energy demand and air pollution. 

The total population of Tamil Nadu is 6,21,10,839 as 
per the results of the Census of India 2001 with the 
population of males being31.268.654 and population 
of females being 30,842,185. The sex ratio (i.e., the 
numberoffemalesperthousand males) of population 
in the State has improved from 974 in the previous 
census to 986 in the present census. The literacy rate 
in the State has shown remarkable improvement. This 
has increased to 73.47% (40,624,398 persons) when 
compared to 62.66% during the previous census in 
1991. The density of population in Tamil Nadu is 478 
persons per km2 whereas the national average is 324 
persons per km2, and is the sixth highest among the 
major states of India. 

Topography of coastal districts 
The Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry coast is straight 
and narrow without much indentation except at 
Vedaranyam.Fringingand patch reefs are presentnear 
Rameswaram and the Gulf of Mannar. Pichavaram, 
Vedaranyam and Point Calimere have well-developed 
mangrove systems. In Tamil Nadu about 46 rivers 
drain into Bay of Bengal forming several estuaries 
adjoining coastal lagoons. The Cauvery River and its 
tributaries form a large delta supporting extensive 
agriculture. The other landforms of the Tamil 
Nadu coast are the rock outcrops of Kanyakumari, 
mudflats, beaches, spits, coastal dunes and strand 
features. Deposition is observed at Point Calimere, 
Nagapattinam, South Madras, etc., while erosion is 
reported at Ovari Paravarnattam, Mahabalipuram 
and North Madras near Ennore. 





Thiruvattur district 

This coast has a very vast coastal plain, which extends 
from North ofToppalaPalayamtoSouth of Sattangadu. 
There are three strand lines, with intervening broad 
tidal flats occurring in the coastal plains. Lagoons, 
mangrove swamps, salt marshes, estuaries, creeks, 
sand dunes, spits and beach terraces represent the 
marine landforms. The coastline is mainly accreting 
with noticeable erosional effects particularly near 
Ennore. Development of offshore bars and shoals 
are observed near Ennore and Pulicat. 

Chennai district 

The area is a vast coastal plain characterised by 
several strandlines, lagoons, mangroves, salt 
marshes, estuaries, creeks, barred dunes, spits, 
beach terraces, etc. The sandy beaches with beach 
sands rise slightly higher in the stretch 26 . 

Kancheepuram district 

This coastal area comprises sandy beach with beach 
sand 27 . The coastal area of Kancheepuram district 
is characterised by several strand lines, lagoons, 
mangroves, salt marshes, estuaries, creeks, barrier 
dunes, spits, beach terraces, etc. 

Villupuram district 

The major geomorphic features of this coastal tract 
are comprised of upland plains, flood plains, deltaic 
plains and coastal plains. This part of the coastal 
plain has a width of 6 km and exhibits different 
geomorphic features, which include strandlines, 
raised beaches, sand dunes, mangrove swamps and 
tidal flats. 

Cuddatore district 

The northern part of the coast has sandy beach with 
beach sand. In the southern part, sandy beach is 
absent. Swamps and mangrove forest cover the 
extreme south part of this coast 28 . 

Nagapattinam district 

This stretch consists of a narrow region of sandy 
beach along the coast in the delta region of the 
Cauvery. There are saltpans near Thirumullaivasal 
and Tharangampadi. To the south is Vedaranyam, 
a permanent swamp habitat with mangrove forest. 
The southern boundary of this stretch is marked by 
the change in the coastline from the south to the 
east— from Point Calimere to Rajamatam 29 . 

The geomorphologic features observed in this stretch 
are sub-aerial deltas, strand plains, crevasses, 

2 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Chennai.htm 
27 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Kanchipuram.htm 

http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Cuddalore%20and%20Villipuram.htm 



chennies, cuspate bars, estuaries and swamps. The 
large part of the delta is occupied by their distributory 
flood basins comprising brown and reddish grey silty 
clay and fine sands. The coastline of Nagapattinam 
is straightened by south bound long shore currents 
from the Kollidam river mouth to point Calimere. From 
Point Calimere to further south the coastline forms a 
bay. 

Thiruvarur district 

The geomorphic features observed in this stretch are 
sub aerial deltas, sand plains, crevasses and cuspate 
bars, estuaries and swamps. A large part of the delta is 
occupied by inter distributory flood basins comprising 
brown and reddish grey clay and fine sands. The 
coastal stretch consists of a narrow region of sandy 
beach along the coast in the delta region of Cauvery 
river. In the east there is a permanent swampy region 
with mangrove forest 30 . 

Tanjavur district 

This stretch starts from east of Mullipallam lagoon 

and ends with Jambumahadevipattinam. 

Pudukottai district 

This coastal stretch consists of a narrow region of 
sandy beach along the coast in the delta regions of 
the Vellar River 31 . The Pudukottai coastal zone lies 
between Kattumavadi and north Varshali riverbank. 
The geomorphic features observed in this coast are 
sandy plains with elevations varying from 6 toiom 
above mean sea level. 

Ramanathapuram district 

The northern part of this coastline stretches 
from Sundarapandipuram to Tondi. Salt pans are 
common in this part of the coast. The coastal area of 
Mudukulathur, Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram 
is sandy, and in this area the coast is fringed by sand 
dunes with swamps at the back. The coastline in this 
stretch is generally trending towards the south from 
where it takes an eastward trend towards Devipattinam 
enclosing the Palk Strait. In the southern part of this 
stretch between Devipattinam and Keelakkarai, there 
are raised beaches with sand bars parallel to the 
present coastline. The southern coast of this district 
is fringed by a chain of islands numbering about 
16 and shoals extending to a distance of 5 to 9 km 
offshore 32 . 

Coastal plains, older deltaic plains, cuspate forelands, 
teri sand mounds, and teri tidal complexes are some 
of the geomorphic features observed in the stretch. 

29 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Nagapattinam.htm 

30 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Thanjavur.htm 

31 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Pudukottai.htm 

32 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Ramananthapuram.htm 



The coastline on this stretch is fringed by a strand 
plain over a width of about 1.5 km to 3 km, beyond 
which runs a wide track of fluvio-marine sediments 
manifested in tidal flats, salt marshes and paleo 
tidal flats. The coastline between Rameswaram and 
Mandapam is a huge cuspate foreland bar built up 
with sand deposits representing repeated lowering 
of the sea level. 

Thoothukudi district 

The coastline from Vembar to Tiruchendur is a result 
of sediment accretion except for the Thiruchendur 
and Manappad areas that have cliffs along the coast 
resulting from erosions of mounds of Quaternary 
sediment. South of Tuticorin, near the mouth of 
Korampallam odai, a huge sand bar has developed 
into a northward trending beach cap 4 km from the 
main shore. A narrow beach marks the south of the 
Tiruchendur coastline, beyond which extends the 
coastal ridge from Manapadu to Kudangulam over 
which sand dunes and beach terraces have developed. 
The Quaternary sandstones are exposed as wave cut 
platforms along the entire coast from Periyatalai 
to Uvari. The following coastal geomorphologic 
features commonly occur in the coast: beaches, 
beach ridges, cliffed coast, sand dunes, beach 
terraces, spits, cuspates, salt marshes, teri sand. 
There are two physiographic features in the coast of 
Tuticorin district. In the coastal belt between Vembar 
to Thiruchendur, there are raised beaches with sand 
bars parallel to the present coastline. The sand bars 
are trend towards north to south direction. In the 
coastal area between Thiruchendur to Manappad, 
there are sand dunes and teri dune complexes 33 . 

Tirunelveli district 

The coast of Tirunelveli district extends from 
Kayamozhi in the North and to the south east of 
section of the Karungulam coast. The southern 
portion of the Thiruchendur coast consists of sandy 
beaches with beach sand containing heavy minerals. 
Sand dunes rise up to about 67m along the coast. 
The general relief goes over to 15 m and above. 34 The 
followingcoastal geomorphologic features commonly 
occur alongthis coast: beaches, beach ridges, cliffed 
coast, sand dunes, beach terraces, spits, cuspates, 
salt marsh, teri sands. 

A narrow beach marks the southern portion of the 
Tiruchendur coastline, beyond which extends the 
coastal ridge from Manapadu to Kudangulam over 
which sand dunes and beach terraces have developed. 
The Quaternary sandstones are exposed as wave 

33 http://www.annauniv.edu/iotn/Tuticorin.htm 

34 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Tirunalveli.htm 



cut platforms all along the coast from Periyatalai to 
Uvari. 

Kanyakumari district 

The Kanyakumari coast starts from north of 
Vattakkottai and ends with the Kerala State boundary. 
The coastal landscape of Kanyakumari District is 
mainly composed of beach ridges of rocky, sandy 
and swampy nature in the estuarine regions. Sand 
dunes and teri soil occur along the coast and away 
from the coast of Kanyakumari. The southern part of 
the coast is made up of sandy beaches with beach 
sands containing heavy minerals on the eastern and 
western sides of Kanyakumari. The sand dunes rise 
up to 67m. The general relief goes over to 15m above 
MSL 35 . The following coastal geomorphic features are 
observed along the coast of Kanyakumari district: 
beaches, beach ridges, cliffed coast, sand dunes 
and beach terraces. The marine landforms along the 
Kanyakumari district are restricted to a width of less 
than lkm, as the Western Ghats run very close to the 
coastline gaining elevation. 

Pondicherry 

The Union Territory of Pondicherry 36 is spread in an 
area of 492 km2 and consists of four regions situated 
at different geographical locations isolated from one 
another. The Pondicherry region, which is the largest 
among the four, lies on the east coast of India, and 
consists of 12 scattered areas lying in between 11 
42' N and 12 30' N, and 76° 36' E and 79 53' E. The 
Karaikal region is about 150 km south of Pondicherry 
and is surrounded by the Nagaipattinam District of 
Tamil Nadu. It is located between io° 49' N and 11° 
01' N, and 79 43' E and 79 52' E. Yanam is located 
between 16° 42' N and 16° 46' N and 82 11' E and 
82 19' E at about 840 km north-east of Pondicherry 
near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Mahe lies almost 
parallel to Pondicherry between 11 42' N and 11° 43' 
N and 75 31' E and 75 33' E, 653 km away on the west 
coast of India near Tellicherry in Kerala (Antony et al 
1982 ) 37 . 

Topographically, the Pondicherry region isflat country 
havingan average elevation of about 15 meters above 
sea level, intersected by the deltaic channels of the 
rivers Gingee and Ponnaiyar and other streams 
forming the two main drainage basins, interspersed 
with lakes and tanks. To the northwest of Pondicherry 
town, a girdle of low hills (or an elevated ground of 
about 30m high) is noticed. This high ground suddenly 
emerges from the low alluvial plain country known as 
Gorimedu. This forms the most prominent feature of 

35 http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/Kanyakumari.htm 
3 http://www.pon.nic.in/stategovt/scitech/SECOND.htm 
37 Antony et al. 1982 as cited on http://www.pon.nic.in/stategovt/ 
scitech/SECOND.htm 




the landscape. The Gingee river crosses the region 
diagonally from the north-west to the south-east. 
Ponnaiyar forms the southern border. The alluvial 
delta of Ponnaiyar is almost on dead level ground, 
only a few meters above the sea. The coastal border 
has a length of 22 km and a breadth ranging from 
four to six hundred meters. Superficially, the coast 
is flat and sandy. The coastal zone of Pondicherry 
comprises newer and older dunes including saline 
areas of clayey texture. The other zone is made up 
of the two plateaux - Pondicherry plateau and the 
Thiruvakkarai plateau. 

Karaikal, which forms a part of the fertile Cauveri 
delta the region, is completely covered by the 
distributaries of the Cauveri. Covered completely by 
a thick mantle of alluvium of variable thickness, the 
lie of the land is flat having a gentle slope towards 
the Bay of Bengal in the east. It is limited on the 
north by the Nandalar and on the southeast by the 
Vettar. The group of rocks known as the Cuddalore 
formations is met with in the area contiguous to the 
Karaikal region in Nagappattinam District 38 . 

Socio-economic profile 

As per the census of India, 2001, the total population 
of the Union Territory of Pondicherry is 9,73,829— 
consisting of 4,86,705 males and 4,87,124 females 
registering a sex ratio of 1001 females for every 1000 
males. The region-wise break up is given in Table 1. 
The literacy rate in the Union Territory of Pondicherry 
is estimated as 81.49%. Out of this the literacy level 
among male is 88.89% and that of female is 74.13%. 

Agriculture is the most important occupation in 
the Union Territory of Pondicherry. It is a source of 
livelihood for about 35.20% of the rural population 
and this sector accounts for 5.66% of the Union 
Territory's income. The major crops under cultivation 
are paddy, sugarcane, coconut, groundnut, pulses 
and cotton. Next to agriculture, fisheries related 
activities are the next important activity. Pondicherry 
has a coastline of 45 km with 675 km2 of inshore 
waters, 1347 ha of inland waters and 800 ha of 
brackish water fisheries. The fish production in 1954 
was only 900 million tonnes. During 1999-2000, the 
fish production was 42,830 million tonnes - marine 
fish production of 38,620 million tonnes and inland 
fish production of 4108 million tonnes. 



3 http://karaikal.nic.in/Administration/General/General.htm 




ANNEXURE 2 



THE DYNAMIC NATURE OF COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS AND 
THEIR FUNCTIONS 



Coastal ecosystems comprise wetlands, sand 
dunes and beaches, mangroves, coral reefs and sea 
grass beds, swamps and estuaries. Each of these 
constituents has a significant role to play in sustaining 
ecological functions and thus in protecting coastal 
habitats, human and wildlife communities. 

Coastal dunes are an unstable, shifting habitats 
formed as a result of dynamic interactions between 
ocean currents, winds, and storms. Currents and 
waves along the shore deposit sand on the beach, 
and the winds shape the sand into series of small 
hills that gradually migrate inland to be constantly 
replaced at the beachfront by new dunes. Since sand 
is unstable, dunes can achieve a maximum stature 
of only several hundred feet. Dune plants have 
to be able to tolerate life in shifting sands where 
water rapidly percolates through the soil and out 
of the reach of plant roots. The roots of some dune 
plants play a role in stabilising sand dunes, helping 
to shape the nature of this ecosystem. Beach grass 
is particularly notable in this regard and is often 
planted deliberately by people to keep the dunes in 
place 39 . Stable sand dunes play an important part in 
protecting the coastline. They act as a buffer against 
wave damage during storms, protecting the land 
from salt water intrusion. This sand barrier allows the 
development of more complex plant communities in 
areas protected from saltwater inundation, sea spray 
and strong winds 40 . 

Wetlands are habitats characterised by saturated 
(waterlogged) soils for at least part of the year and 
plants that are adapted to grow under wet conditions. 
They may be completely covered by water or the 
water may be just below the ground. There are many 
differenttypes of wetlands, such as swamps (wetlands 
dominated by trees), marshes (wetlands dominated 
by non-woody plants such as grasses and sedges), 
wet meadows, bogs, fens, flood-plain forests, lakes, 
and ponds. Wetlands are to a large extent the product 
of land topography. They develop in depressions and 
low-lying areas that brings water table (groundwater) 
close to or even above the ground. Wetlands are 
very important features in the coastal landscape and 
provide humans with a number of natural resources. 



They act as sponges that help to reduce the impacts 
of floods by absorbing water and serving as 
reservoirs for groundwater. As water flows through 
a wetland, pollutants such as excess silt and harmful 
nutrients are trapped; thus, the wetland acts as a 
filter of pollutants and helps to maintain clean water. 
Wetlands serve as vital habitats to many different 
species of flora and fauna. 41 Wetlands are also areas 
that absorb sea surges. 

Mangrove forests are characterised by trees, shrubs 
and vines that thrive in brackish water (water of varying 
levels of salinity) and are often found in estuaries, the 
point where freshwater rivers flow into the oceans. 
Other than mangrove species, these ecosystems 
have plants, animals and micro-organisms that 
have adapted to life in the dynamic environment of 
the tropical inter-tidal zone. Mangrove ecosystems 
are important environmentally and economically; 
mangrove trees can reach a height of up to 45m, 
producing dense, closed canopy forests that can 
support up to 80 different plant species, mangrove 
soils and waters support an abundance of species, 
including economically important species of fish, 
molluscs and crustaceans. Mangrove swamps and 
creeks serve as nursery areas to many pelagic fishes 
and it is estimated that over 80% of global fish catch 
is directly or indirectly dependent on mangroves. 42 

Coral reefs are amongst the most biologically rich 
ecosystems on earth. About 4,000 species of fish 
and 800 species of reef-building corals have been 
described to date. Coral reefs have often been 
described as rainforests of the sea as they exhibit 
very high levels of species diversity. They buffer 
adjacent shorelines from wave action and the impact 
of storms. The benefits from this protection are many 
and range from maintenance of highly productive 
mangrove fisheries and wetlands to supporting local 
economies built around ports and harbours, where, 
as is often the case in the tropics, these are sheltered 
by nearby reefs. Much of the world's poor are located 
within the coastal zones of developing regions and 
depend directly on reef species for their protein 
needs. Coral reefs are a major draw for snorkelers, 
scuba divers, recreational fishers, and those seeking 



vacations on beaches. 

39 http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/biology/coastal-ecosystems-plsc-02.htmt 

40 http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/environmentaLmanagement/coast andoceans/beaches and dunes/coastaLdunes/ 

41 http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/biology/coastal-ecosystems-plsc-02.html 

42 http://www.oceansatlas.org/cds static/en/mangroves en_12730_all_1.html 

43 http://www.oceansatlas.com/cds static/en/value coraLreefs en 3i8i8_all_i.html 




An estuary is a semi-enclosed body of water where 
freshwater meets the sea. Typically located at the 
mouth of rivers, estuaries have characteristics of 
both fresh and marine habitats and serve as a vital 
ecological link between the two realms. Changes in 
salt concentration within the estuary present a real 
challenge to plants and animals. They not only have 
to be salt tolerant, but they also have to be able 
to tolerate frequent changes in salinity. Estuaries 
therefore have their own unique species that differ 
from those of wholly freshwater or marine habitats. 
Estuaries are also amongst the most productive 
ecosystems on earth in terms of the amount of organic 
matter produced by plants and algae. They are home 
to abundant fish, bird, and invertebrate populations, 
which take advantage of this tremendous plant and 
algal productivity. 44 

All of the above constituents of coastal ecosystems 
are prone to changes from several natural 
phenomena, some of which are gradual processes 
and others, sudden resulting in immediate, visible 
consequences. Some of the regular and recurring 
phenomena that take place in coastal areas are 
storms, cyclones and erosion. 

In general, the coastal area of Tamil Nadu is prone 
to cyclones and depressions. Cyclones form in low- 
pressure zones in the Bay of Bengal. They typically 
occur on the east coast during the monsoon months 
of May to November when the southwest and 
northeast monsoons are active. A severe cyclone 
causes furious wind and torrential rain in the coastal 
region. The frequency of tropical cyclones in the Bay 
of Bengal, about 4-5 per year, is steadily increasing 
(Singh et al. 2001). Recent studies predict an 
increased occurrence of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal, 
particularly in the post-monsoon period, along with 
increased maximum wind speeds associated with 
cyclones (DEFRA 2004). The State of Environment 
Report of Tamil Nadu states that there are few 
specific zones along the coast that are identified 
as cyclone affected areas. The most affected areas 
along the Tamil Nadu coast are the: 1) Mamallapuram 
and Puduppattinam zone, 2) Marakkanam and 
Cuddalore zone, 3) Tharangambadi, Nagapatinam 
and Vedaranyam zone 45 . It is important to note that 
these cyclone prone areas are also ecologically 
sensitive. 



Natural processes are not the only factors impacting 
coastal ecosystems. There are a wide range of 
anthropogenic activities that take place in coastal 
regions. These activities in many cases have a much 
greater influence in determining the health and 
survival of the coastal ecosystem and its constituents. 
Coastal erosion is caused by forces of nature but very 
often accentuated by anthropogenic activities like 
the making of structures on shores, removal of the 
materials from the shores, etc. 46 

There is ample literature to support the fact that the 
constituents of the coastal ecosystem play a critical 
role in reducing and deflecting the impacts of some 
of the sudden natural phenomena such as storms and 
cyclones by red ucingtheir potential damage to human 
lives and property. For instance, there are studies to 
indicate that large sandy beaches help to absorb tidal 
surges and mangroves or other appropriate green 
belts cut off wind speeds. Coastal ecosystems like 
mangroves and coral reefs provide natural protection 
to coasts by dissipating considerable wave energy 
and hence only smaller waves of moderate intensity 
reach the shore. Equally important is their function 
in maintaining the biodiversity of the coastal 
ecosystems, which is necessary for the nutritional, 
and livelihood needs of the coastal communities. 
However, when development plans for the coast 
are worked out, the first casualties are these very 
constituents. 



44 http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/biology/coastal-ecosystems-plsc-02.html 

45 http://www.environment.tn.nic.in/soe.pdf 

46 



http://www.survas.mdx.ac.uk/pdfs/3dikshas.pdf 




2.1. ecdldgically 
impdrtant cdastal areas 
df Tamil Nadu 47 

Anumberofecologically important sites are located in 
Tamil Nadu encompassing ecosystems such as coral 
reefs, mangroves and lagoons. These include Pulicat 
Lake, Vedaranyam, Gulf of Mannar and Pichavaram 
(see Table 6) and are described in more detail in the 
following pages. 

Table 6 
ecdldgically impdrtant areas in tamil nadu 



District 


Site 


ecdldgical 
Importance 


Area (km 2 ) 


Ramnadu 


Gulf of Mannar (Islands between Rameswaram 
and Tuticorin) 


Coral Reef 


63.226 


Nagapattinam 


Vedaranniyam Muthupettai 


Mangroves 


2463 


Cuddalore 


Pichavaram 


Mangroves 


10.61 


Thiruvallur 


Pulicat Lake 


Lagoon 


252.04 



Pulicat Lake 

Pulicat lake is the second largest backwater lake in 
India and it covers an area of 461 km2. It is located 
between i3°26' N and i3°43'N latitude and 80° 03' E 
and 8o°i8' E longitude and situated almost parallel 
to the Bay of Bengal. It extends over the Ponneri and 
Gummidipundi taluk of Thiruvallur district in Tamil 
Nadu and the Sulurpet and Tada taluks of Nellore 
district in Andhra Pradesh and covers an area of about 
461 km. Table 7 shows the extent of various wetland 
classes in Pulicat area. 

Table 1 
Area extent df varidus wetland classes in Pulicat area 



Salt 
Marsh(km) 


Mud Flat (km) 


Saltpan (km) 


Lake (km) 


26.80 


0.356 


0.257 


252.040 



The lake extends to about 59km in the north-south 
direction with a maximum width of 17km in east to 
west direction in the northern sector of the lake. At its 
southern end, near the northern extremity of Pulicat 
town, it opens into the Bay of Bengal by narrow pass 
into the sea. The lagoon has a high water spread area 
of 460 km and low floodwater spread area of 250 km. 
From March till September, the mouth gets silted 
and reduced in width and depth, as it shifts position, 
simultaneously from the north and the south. The 
mouth gets completely closed once in above five 

1,7 Source: http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/EIA%27s.htm 



years or even little more frequently if there is no 
monsoon flood in any particular year. 

Pulicat: a bird sanctuary 

Pulicat is the third most important wetland for the 
migratory shore birds on the eastern coast of India. 
The lake is an extremely important area for a variety 
of resident and migratory birds especially waterfowl. 
These include pelicans, herons, egrets, storks, 
flamingos, ducks and geese, gulls and terns. Greater 
flamingos occur in large numbers in the Andhra 




Pradesh part of the sanctuary, around the islands of 
Venadu and Irukkam. 

Biodiversity ofPulicat 

Pulicat Lake supports rich fauna and flora. Seagrass 
is commonly distributed in this lake supporting 
many faunal communities. The Institute for Ocean 
Management, Anna University made a quantitative 
assessment of the present status of biodiversity of 
Pulicat Lake. Their checklists report that 49 species 
of phytoplankton, 12 species of macro algae, 
seagrasses, 88 species of zooplankton, 81 species 
of benthos, and 39 species offish are found in this 
area. 



Pichavaram Mangroves 

Pichavaram (11 24' N to u°2j N and 79 46' E to 79 
48' E) is situated on the southeast coast of India, 
located about 240 km south of Chennai City and about 
45 km south of Cuddalore. It is located between the 
Vellar in the north, the Coleroon in the south and the 
Uppanar in the west. It communicates with the sea 
via a shallow opening, which is the mouth in the sand 
littoral strand. It consists of number of small and 
large islets surrounded by numerous creeks, canals 
and channels. Table 8 shows the aerial extent of 
mangrove and other wetland classes in Pichavaram. 



Table B 
Aerial extent df mangrove and other wetland classes in Pichavaram 



Mangrdve(km) 


Mangrdve with Scrub(km) 


Tidal Flat(km) 


8.79 


1.82 


1.44 



Mangrove Ecosystem 

The Pichavaram area has very significant mangrove 
ecosystems. Mangroves cover a total area of 12.05 
sq km. The mangroves of Pichavaram are classified 
into six zones that are mentioned in detail below. 

Zone I 

Avicennia marina is dominant and shrubby in this 
region, where the soil is principally sandy mud. 
The sandy area is dominated by the hatophytes, 
Salicoma brachiata, Suaeda maritima, Sesuvium 
portulascsturm, Arthrocnemum indicum and 
Excoecaria agaltocha are some other plants, which 
are sporadically distributed here. Sand heaped 
areas are of frequent occurrence in this region and 
these heaps do not get flooded. The soil in the heaps 
is loose and supports plants such as Boearhavia 
diffusa, Cterodendron inermae, Croton sp., Eragrosis 
sp., Geniosporum tenuiflorum, Ipmoea pes-caprae, 
Mollugo pentaphylla, Oldenlandia umbetlata, 
Opuntia sp., Phyla nodiflora, Spinifex littoreus, 
Thespesia populanea and Vernonia cinerea. All the 
plants represented in this zone do not exceed 0.5 m 
in height. 

Zone II 

This zone includes the banks of three creeks lying 
parallel to the sea shore. The banks of these creeks 
show gradation of floristic components from the 
shoreline inwards. The eastern bank of the first creek 
shows three belts. The fringe of the shoreward belt 



is almost barren, the middle belt is dominated by 
Salicornia brachiata and the inward belt is occupied 
by A. marina. The eastern bank of the second creek 
also has three belts. The shoreward belt is colonised 
by Salicornia brachiata and scrubby A. marina. The 
middle one is occupied by pure Salicornia brachiata 
vegetation and the inward belt is colonised by 
Salicornia brachiata and A. marina. The middle one 
is occupied by pure Salicornia brachiata vegetation 
and the inward belt possesses Rhizophora apiculata 
and Rhizophora stytosa, and the middle belt shows 
A. marina whereas the inner belt is found to have 
a mixed community of Excoecaria agaltocha and 
Salicornia brachiata. The western bank of the third 
creekhas barren sand and someterrestrialvegetation. 
Arthrocnenum indicum occurs in patches in this zone, 
which might probably colonise the 'blanks'. 

Zone III 

Luxuriant mangrove vegetation exists in this zone with 
the maximum number mangrove species. The fringes 
of the channels are bordered by Rhizopora apiculata 
and R. stytosa. R. apiculata is dominant alongthe main 
channels with more fresh water. R. apiculata and R. 
mucronata are co-dominants alongthe fringes of the 
other waterways. Immediately behind the Rhizopora 
communities, Bruguiera cylindrica and Ceriops 
decandra are common in shrubby habit. Excoecaria 
agallocha also occurs here. Just behind the fringe 
communities of Rhizophora and other plants, three 
types of communities can be observed as 




1) a community composed exclusively of Suaeda 
maritima, 

2) mixed communities of S. maritima and A. 
marina, and 

3) community consisting exclusively of A. marina. 

Zone IV 

This fresh water zone is generally dominated by 
Acanthus ilicifolius. The vegetation on the two banks 
of the Thiruvasaladai freshwater channel varies 
considerably. The northern bank is dominated by 
A. ilicfolius along with a few representatives of 
Dalbergia spinosa, Deris heterophila, climbing on A. 
ilicifolius, E. agallocha and Sonneratia apetala. On the 
southern bank, there is sporadic occurrence of high 
Avicennia officinalis trees with mixed communities 
of Arthrocnemum indicum, E. agallocha, Lumnitzera 
racemosa, Salicornia brachiata and S. maritima. 



Coleroon is occupied by A. marina, Suaeda marina 
and Salicornia brachiata. 

The mangroves support an abundant growth of 
oysters and important fishes. Only one species of 
marine turtle, the Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) 
has been reported. 

Pichavaram is an important habitat for a variety of 
resident and migratory waterfowl and other birds. 
About 200 species of birds have been recorded, 
amongthose egret, herons and storks. The mammals 
known to occur in this region include the common 
otter and jackal. 

Fishery Resource 

Pichavaram mangrove is a very good potential fishery 
source. Prawns constitute the bulk of total fisheries, 
along with crabs and mullets. 



Zone V 

The western bank of the channel is rich with Suaeda 
maritima for about 3 km along with Salicorina 
brachiata. This area has a vast intertidal zone and 
some gullies. The Suaeda maritime community is also 
present here. The soil here is silty mud. On the eastern 
side of the channel towards the seashore, there is an 
extensive cultivation of Casuarina equisetifolia. 

Zone VI 

This zone exists nearly to the Coleroon estuary. 
The channel on the landward side has Salicornia 
brachiata, whereas the channel on the seaward side 
is occupied by small shrubby A. marina. Sand heaps 
have Pandanus species. The intermediate region 
before the junction of the two channels nearer the 



Vedaranyam 

Vedaranyam (10° 15' N toio° 35' N and 79 20' N to 
79° 55' E) is one of the coastal blocks of Thanjavur 
district. It is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, 
and is of historical importance, since the days of the 
Chola kingdom. It has a tropical transitional bio- 
climate, which is characterised, by monthly average 
temperatures above 2j°(L. Total annual rainfall varies 
from 1000 to 1500 mm with a dry period of 5 to 6 
months. Vedaranyam is one of the six major wildlife 
sanctuaries and also an important coastal wetland 
in Tamil Nadu. Table 9 shows the different wetland 
categories and their extent. This wetland serves 
as a nursery ground for several species of fish and 
shellfish and act as a seasonal home for a variety of 
migratory birds. 



Table 9 
Different wetland categories and their extent in Vedaranyam 



Mangrdve 
(km) 


Reserved Fdrest 
(km) 


Salt Marsh 

(KM2) 


Tidal 
Flat(km) 


Saltpan 
(km) 


24.53 


19.58 


24.53 


97.95 


34.70 



Vedaranyam Bird Sanctuary 

Vedaranyam is one of the major wintering grounds 
in south India for migrant birds from north India, 
Europe, Asia and Africa. Its uniqueness lies in its 
having a coastal marine system and tropical forests. 
The number of reservoirs formed here for making 
salt serves as feeding grounds for migratory birds 
especially small waders and waterfowl and also for 
the resident population. These swamps host around 



240 species of birds both migratory and resident. 
Among this, 48% is aquatic and the rest are land 
birds. November to January is the peak migratory 
period. 

During winter every year thousands of migratory 
waterfowls visit this area. The migrants include 
gargyney, teals, shovellers, whistling teals, Caspian 
terns, godwits, golden plovers, great stone plovers, 




sandpipers, little stints, red shanks, green shanks, 
ringed plovers, reef herons, whimbrels and red necked 
phalaropes. During spring the trees and shrubs with 
wild berries attract frugivorous birds like the koels, 
mynas and barbets. As winter sets in, a huge wave 
of insectivorous birds come down at Vedaranyam 
attracted by the abundance of insects and vegetable 
food. During the peak season of migration, the 
important long legged and small wanders found in 
reservoirs are greater and lesser flamingoes, gray 
heron, purple heron, reef heron, large, medium and 
little egrets, spoonbills, painted storks, etc. Long 
distant migrants constitute the majority of short- 
legged wading birds. 

In addition to regular migrants, occasional migrants 
like cormorants, darter, black kite, booted hawk- 
eagle, short-toed eagle and ringed plovers are also 
seen in this sanctuary. Among the seasonal migrants 
are the little grebe, purple heron, white necked stork, 
black necked stork, white Ibis, flamingoes, Indian 
cuckoos and larks. Various types of gulls, such as 
the herring gull, great and lesser, black backed gull, 
brown headed gull are common in this sanctuary. 
Many kinds of terns like white winged black tern, 
whiskered tern, gull billed tern, Caspian tern, rosy 
tern, and Indian lesser crested tern are also seen in 
Point Calimere. 

The sanctuary also includes reptiles like the monitor 
lizard, chameleon, and the star tortoise, cobra, saw 
scaled viper, and the Olive Ridley turtle. The mammals 
found in the Vedaranyam area are the black buck, 
spotted deer, wild boar, semi wild ponies, Jackal, 
black napped hare, bonnet macaque, civet cat, jungle 
cat, mongoose, etc. 

Muthupet 

The Muthupet mangrove swamp is located in close 
proximity with the coastal wetlands of Vedaranyam. 
The swamp is spread out in an area of approximately 
6800 ha, of which 77.2oha is occupied by well-grown 
mangrove and the remaining area is covered by 
poorly grown mangrove vegetation. 

The aquatic fauna comprises juvenile and adults 
of finfishes, shrimps, molluscs, crabs and benthic 
invertebrates. Seaweeds such as Chaetomorpha, 
Enteromorpha, Gracilaria, Hypnea, etc. are found 
here. The mangrove zone of the forest is restricted 
to the edges of the brackish water lagoon where the 
true mangrove species are distributed in varying 
degrees of abundance. A. marina is the most common 



and abundant species, followed by E. agaltocha, 
Aegiceras cornicutatum, A. ilicifolius, S. maritima, S. 
monica, etc. 

The Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University 
had observed that there is a marked degradation in 
mangrove forests after comparing the wetland maps 
of 1989 and 1996. Mangroves have degraded in 
density at some of the places and have disappeared 
in several other places. The degradation has 
occurred mostly in sparse mangrove forests due to 
the expansion of the saltpan and human activities. 
The mangrove forest at Vedaranyam is also found to 
be degraded in density. However, dense mangrove 
forests have increased from 706 m2 to 958 m2. In 
total, nearly 87 m2 of total mangrove forest have 
degraded in Muthupet. As the Muthupet area is dry 
for most of the year, human activities like cutting of 
wood for fuel, grazing by cattle, etc. has caused the 
degradation of mangroves. 

Finfishes constitute the bulk of the total fishery in 
Muthupet mangroves, followed by prawn fishery, 
crabs, oysters and clams. Birds recorded from this 
area are herons, egrets, kingfishers, mynas, plovers, 
and sandpipers. 

Gulf of Mannar Area 

About 3,600 species of fauna and flora have been 
recorded from the Gulf of Mannar area by the Central 
Marine Fisheries Research Institute and other 
organisations (Neelakantan 1998 48 ). The fauna of the 
Gulf is said to be one of the richest in the whole of 
Indo-west Pacific region. 

The vegetation in Gulf of Mannar coastal area is 
not uniformly spread and is generally composed 
of thorny scrub that corresponds to littoral and 
swamp forests according to the classification of 
Champion and Seth (1968). It is characterised by 
species like Thespesia poputnea, Acacia planifrons, 
Tamarixsp., Vitexnegundo, etc. Mangroves and their 
associated species are seen in Shingle, Kursadi, 
Kovi, Pumurichan, Manalli and Manalliputti Islands. 
Avicennia, Rhizopora, Brugeira, Pumphis and 
Pandanus occurs alongthe periphery of the islands in 
the study area. Palmyra, casuarina, coconut, mango 
and tamarind trees, etc. can be seen in the Kursadi, 
Musal and Nalla Tanni Islands (Neelakantan 19981 9 ). 

Algal growth is very rich in Gulf of Mannar. The algal 
productive area alongthe coastline from Mandapam 
to Kanyakumari is put at 17.125 ha. (MoEF 1987 50 ). 




4 Cross-referenced from http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/gulf%200f%20mannar.htm 
*' Cross-referenced from http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/gulf%200f%20mannar.htm 
50 Cross-referenced from http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/gulf%200f%20mannar.htm 



Kursadi and Shingle Islands have very rich algal 
beds. There are different types of algal species 
formed on coral reef in lagoons. The lagoon is rich in 
sea grass beds. 

The sacred chankXancus pyrum also occurs in Gulf 
of Mannar area. The sacred chank is found on fine or 
soft sandy substances under the water. The Gulf of 
Mannar is famous for its chank fisheries and pearl 
fisheries. There are about ten pearl banks in the 
region. The maximum concentration of pearl bank is 
found in the regions off Tuticorin and to some extent 
in between Nallatannitivu and Valinokkam point. 
The region between Tuticorin and Kanyakumari has 
extensive pearl banks (MoEF 1987 51 ; Neelakantan 
1998 52 ). 

The Gulf of Mannar has some significant amounts of 
monazite, illmenite, rutile and garnet, and a small 
amount of zircon and sillimanite are also mined. 
These minerals are found as placer deposits. It is 
expected that this activity will increase during the 
years to come (Mallik and Ray 1975; Loveson and 
Rajamanickam 1989). India was granted the right 
to mine metal rich nodules over 53,000 km of the 
seabed south of Gulf of Mannar (Govind 1989). 

Biodiversity of the Gulf of Mannar 

The Gulf of Mannar with its islands comprises three 

different ecosystems. They are: 

The Seagrass ecosystem 

The Gulf of Mannar area is rich in seagrass species. 
Important species of the seagrass community include 
Enhatus acoraides, H. ovalis, H. ovata, H. beccari, 
H. stipulacea, Thatassia lemprichii, Cymadocea 
serrutata, C. rotundata, Hatodute uninervis, 
Syringodium isoetifolium, etc . In the Gulf of Mannar, 
the seagrass beds are the ideal feeding ground 
for the endangered marine mammal, the seacow 
(Dugong dugon). Numerous seaweeds are found 
in Gulf Mannar. The total productive area has been 
estimated to be around 10,000 ha, with a standing of 
more than 18,000 tons. The common seaweeds found 
here are Utva, Sargassum, Gelidielta, Gracitaria, 
Cauterpa, Halimeda, Padina, Hypnea, Turbinaria, 
Chondrococcus, etc. 

Mangrove ecosystem 

The Gulf of Mannar constitutes unique mangrove 

vegetation. 



Coral reef ecosystem 

The Gulf of Mannar is one of the most important 
coral reef reserves of India that have very high 
productivity. The coral reefs are developed around a 
discontinuous chain of twenty-one islands that exist 
along a 140 km stretch between Rameswaram and 
Tuticorin (see Table 10 for more details). Different 
types of reef formations have been observed in the 
Gulf of Mannar. These include fringing reefs, patchy 
reef and coral pinnacles. Pillai (1971) has described 
the coral reefs of Gulf of Mannar in detail. There are 
96 species of corals belonging to 36 genera in this 
area. Important genera include Acropora, Montipora, 
Pocillopora, Turbinaria, Echinopora, Favia, Favites, 
Goniastrea, Leptastrea, Leptoria, Platygyra, 
Goniopora, Porites, Merulina, Symphyllia, Galaxea, 
Pavona, Coscinaria, Psammacora, etc. 



Table 1 D 
Area under 
df Mannar 



CDRAL REEFS IN THE GULF 



Name df 
the Island 


Cdral 

Reef 

Area 

(km) 


Live Cdral 

Cdver 

(%) 


Shingle 


2.0 


46 


Krusadai 


1-5 


33 


Pullivasal & 

Poomarichan 


4.0 


14 


Manoli & 
Manoliputti 


15 


25 


Musal 


18 


52 


Mulli 


7 


25 


Valai &Talayari 


14 


16 


Appa 


5 


2 


Poovarasanpatti 
Palliarmunai 


6 


50 


Anaipar 


5 


37 


Nallathanni 


2 


38 


Pulivinichalli 


7 


38 


Upputhanni 


3 


6 


Karaichalli 


0.31 


4 


Vilanguchalli 


1 


8 


Kasuwar 


6 


5 


Van 


2.5 


7 



51 Cross-referenced from http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/gulf%200f%20mannar.htm 

52 Cross-referenced from http://www.annauniv.edu/iom/gulf%200f%20mannar.htm 




2.2. ecdldgical profile df 

Pdndicherry 

Wild animal population in Pondicherry comprises 
small mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians as 
well as insects, but systematic data is not available. 
Significant bird populations may be spotted in 
Pondicherry near wetlands, tanks and well wooded 
areas. Specifically, two of the tanks, viz. Oussudu and 
Bahoor tanks support large numbers of waterfowl. 
Bird population at Oussudu has been surveyed in the 
past during the winter season but no other study is 
available on the details of native and migratory bird 
diversity. However, instances of poaching of animals 
by people from neighbouring Tamil Nadu state are 
reported. 

Though Pondicherry does not have Reserved forests or 
scrub jungle to support wild animals, it has wetlands 
such as Ousteri and Bahour Tank (fresh water), the 
marshy area near the light house (brackish water) 
and the backwaters found in Karaikal, which attract 
large numbers of water birds, both migrants and 
residents. These include ducks, teals, pochards and 
waders, which are migrants from north and central 
Siberia and Central Asia. Among the birds, the rare 
birds like pelican, white-necked stork and glossy 
ibis are recorded in good numbers in Ousteri tank. 
The crested pochard, which is considered to be rare 
species in South India, is found in thousands in Kaliveli 
Tank of nearby Tamil Nadu state and in hundreds in 
Ousteri Tank in Pondicherry. These waterfowl arrive 
in late August and early September and depart in mid 
April after spendingtheir winter in India. 

Small mammals that have been reported from the 
region include jackal, black napped hare, bonnet 
macaque, jungle cat, civet cat, and mongoose. 
Endangered marine reptiles like the Olive Ridley 
turtle and the leatherback have been breeding along 
the shores of Pondicherry and Karaikal. 




BIBLIDGRAPHY 



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Ministry of Environment and Forests, 2005, 'Report of 
the Committee, Chaired by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, 
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PP 



Anon. 2005. Report of the Committee, Chaired by Prof. 
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122 pages. 

Antony et al 1982 - Cross-reference. See Footnote 
15- 



MoEF. 1987. Cross-referenced from http://www. 
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Pillai C.S.G. 1971. Composition of the Coral Fauna of 
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Sridhar, A. 2005. Statement on the CRZ Notification 
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PLATES 




Plate 1 

Boulder wall opposite to the Coromandel 
Cement Factory at Ennore. The boulder 
wall on an average is 3.3m in height and 
2.3m in width 




Plate 2 

Sea wall along the road, north of Chennai 




Plate 3 

Mangrove forests have been steadily 
cleared to establish salt pans. A view 
of a degraded mangrove forest that will 
eventually give way to salt pans 




Plate 4 

A high rise building with hatchery in 
Sulerikadu along the ECR located close to 

coastline 




Plate 5 

Devaneri housing complex beyond 

Elanthopu; along the ECR on the 

seaward side of the road; less than 50 m 

from the sea 





Plate 6 

Landscaping on the beach by use 

of granite slabs and Mexican grass- 

Mamallapuram 




J 

1 




E i-±-±.l t_ 


1 

?1M 


t 3^fcWd^BWUC>>. 




|f^Jttj*JMBIwtm| 




Eii 


— J— 


^ — * ~ ^^— — 




■ 







Plate 7 

A view of Deejay Hatcheries at Kovalam 
within ioo m of the High Tide Line (HTL) 




Plate B 

Shrimp hatchery along the coast in 
Anumanthai 




Plate 9 

Auroville Beach, Pondicherry- numerous 
tourism structures can be seen here 




Plate 1 D 

Industry located adjacent to Upannar 

estuary in SIPCOTarea of Cuddalore. The 

CRZ Notification includes estuaries where 

salinity is 5 ppt as CRZ areas; the sea is 

seen in background 




Plate 1 1 

Sand dunes and vegetations conserved 

by coastal community - South 

Poiganallur, Nagapattinam 




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Plate 1 2 

Sand mining right on the coast in Kallar 

river -Nagapattinam district 

Photo by Mr. Mathivanan -TNEC 





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Plate 1 3 

'Bungalow on the Beach' hotel in 
Tarangambadi 




Plate 1 4 

Extension of dormitory of the bungalow, 
Tarangambadi 



Plate 1 5 

Agriculture lands in Thiruvarur district 
affected due to aquaculture 




Plate 1 6 

Salt pans in Tanjavur district 




Plate 1 7 

Aquafarms in Pudukottai district 







Plate 1 B 

Industrial expansion along the 
Thootukudi coast 










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Plate 1 9 

Mining for rare earth in Tirunelveli coast 



Plate 2D 

Sand dunes leveled for tourism; 
Sothavilai, Kanyakumari 



Plate 2 1 

Wayside amenities constructed 
by Tourism Department on ECR 
- Kancheepuram 




Plate 22 

Auroville beach in Pondicherry - many 
temporary structures can be seen here 




Plate 23 

Sand dunes in Valmikimedu 





Plate 24 

Rubble dumped on the coastal areas in 
Kanyakumari