If your house is in a coastal area and you need to renovate or reconstruct any part of it, you would first have to obtain permission from the local authority. You need to get the new plans, if any, sanctioned by the authority before you go ahead with any construction activity.
Law governing these areas
Costal areas are governed by a notification, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, issued by the ministry of environment and forests under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act of 1986. This notification was first issued on 19 February 1991 in view of large-scale activity such as construction and fishing around the coastal stretches of the seas, bays, back waters and rivers. It was a measure to save the coastline from pollution and encroachment. Since 1991, there have been about 25 amendments, the most recent being the one issued in January this year.
CRZs are environmentally sensitive and are are treated as special areas. Therefore, the notification lays some basic principles for construction of housing and setting industries in these zones.
Housing in CRZs
There have been instances of unauthorised sale of plots by fly-by-night operators in CRZs but not all areas are habitable.
As per existing regulation, the coastal areas are divided into four categories—CRZ I to IV—as per permitted land use. CRZ I denotes ecologically sensitive areas, where no residential construction is permitted. CRZ IV belongs to coastal stretches of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and other small islands, where no new construction is allowed unless it is important for national interest and security.
CRZ II and III, however, can be used for constructing dwelling units. But these construction activities are controlled by the Coastal Zone Management Plan, a local master plan, for the respective area. Under most plans, construction of buildings is permitted on that side of the connecting road, which is closer to the land mass. Any new construction will come under the purview of the local town and country planning regulations. This means that if you plan to construct any new building, you need to take a formal permission from the local development authority.
In CRZ III zones, you can build up to two floors (ground plus one) not exceeding 9 metres and can cover 33% of the total plot area.
Government-run housing schemes
In most coastal areas, especially Mumbai, the state government has undertaken slum redevelopment schemes in CRZ II areas in compliance with the floor space index as specified in the town and country planning regulations. The state may award a contract to a private builder to develop slum rehabilitation project in these zones. However, the stake of the state government or its agencies shall not be less than 51% in such projects.