Karnataka Coast : A case for better protection

KarnatakaCoast:
a case for better protection

Published by EQUATIONS in March,2000

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E-mail: coast@equitabletourism.org

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Equitable Tourism Options

EQUATIONS is a non-profit organisation established in 1984. EQUATIONS

is

the only non-governmental organisation in India, working exclusively on the
impact of tourism. Designed to critically understand and react to the effects of thoughtless and insensitive use of tourism
as a developmental

instrument hy the

State and the industry, EQUATIONS has been instrumental in creating a critical

debate on tourism development in India. We work towards transforming the

inherently exploitative nature of mass commercial tourism. We question the
real benefits of tourism to the host communities as well as its socio-cultural and

economic impacts. Our activities include documentation, publication, research,
seminars and the investigation of alternative tourism policies and structures.

Contents

Preface

I

Introduction
Monitoring of Dakhina Kannada Monitoring of Uttara Kannada
Conclusion

I

6

l3

2l

Preface

The changing paradigms of development are often felt in the shift in priority of

of such development. The modern development seeking the rich natural resources as the basis of its development operates on limited vision, to its advantage. Two critical entities that are subjected to rhese shifts are the environment and the community who live alongside the environment that was thus hr suppofting them. The long tern sustainabiliq/ of the environment is not
beneficiaries considered though with modern technology it is possible to reduce the impacts of

such development

to certain extend. The community who are living on

such

environment and natural rescues, are not consulted and are not considered

to

be

part of the developments. Their protests and pleadings are often ignored.

There is also another factor that encourages these happenings. The people living
outside, in areas of these development projects, do not feel that in the long term

they also would be an affected party. Environmental degradation and lives of the
affected people do not attract serious engagement apart from a general curiosity.

The state and its arms too contribute to this situation. Either they are unwilling to entage in the complexities of these development or are totally sitting with archaic norms. Even existing laws are not pur to good use.

The coastal regions of Karnataka could be the revealing example for this. The
community having experienced the limit of these development has advanced to
question the larger implications of the developments. Their approach is both located

from experiences of their own situations
in the debate on these developments.

as

well as knowledge acquired by engaging

Monitoring Karnataka Coast was undertaken with a single point agenda as to how
the coastal areas of Karnataka are faring in the development debate. The parameter

to

check this was the Coastal Regulation Zone

(CM) Notification

199

L

Only

identified areas were visited that could serue as indicators of the situation.

One important factor to be noted in this monitoring report is that the industrial
development in Dakshin Kannda is not paft of the report. The reason for excluding the region was that the situation
is

too complex to

an attempt like this. The status

of

the area asks for an equally complex approach, involvingvarious departments, faculties and branches of science. Instead this report locates the status of the region.

Our contacts along the coastal Karnataka and Sri.Yatheesh of Dakshina

Kannada

and Sri. Ravindra Pawar of Majali village, Karwar has helped us locate the areas

to be

visited. The monitoring was undertaken in collaboration with Nagarika Seva Trust,
Bangalore.

This study is part of Coastal Zone Watch Programme of EQUATIONS, supported
by ICCO, Netherlands.

EQUATIONS team.

ii

=
I

ntrod uction

The present situotion
The coastline of Karnataka, till recendy, was perhaps the best remaining in the
south, especially the Uttara Kannada coast. Of the 7500 kms long coastline of
India Karnataka's share is 320Kms. These 320 kms are characteristically divided

into two districts: Uttara and Dakshina Kannada form the Northern and Southern
coastal districts respectively. The coast stretches from Majali village of Urrar Kannada

in the North, to the Talapady village of Dakshina Kannada, in the South, bordering
Keralam.

Many places along the Karnataka coast have been identified and used

for intensive

industrial development. Such features are predominant mostly in the southern
coast, that is, Dakshin Kannada district. The industrialisation in the district began

with the establishment of the New Mangplore port during mid 70s which changed the profile of the district from traditional agriculture and fishing. Many large-scale
industries including chemical and petroleum industries are located along this coast.

This is also the area identified for power generation for the state. That the
concentration of industries has severe impacts on the environment is being debated

today. Also the displacement of persons and change in land use and ownership

that is brought about by these industries are issues of concern.
The coast of the Uttar Kannada district w:rs comparatively free of heavy industries,

without much change in the coastal land use pattern. The district is known for
fishing and related industries,

with

several fishing harbours dotted all along the

coast. This profile is fast changing. One major development activity initiated is the Sea

Bird Naval Project. This project will control nearly 20 km of the cdast

in

Karwar district. Another advent in the district is that of tourism development.
Vasg sandy beaches dotted with cliffs and rock formations, the rich productivity
of the coastal ecosystem, as well as the easy availability of land on the coast, are the

major attractions for the entry of tourism into this region. As Goan coasts have

Monitoring the Komqtoko Coost

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lost their charm for tourists, because of the degradation of the coast, by the tourism

industry, the move now is

to Uttara Kannada. Karwar

is already under pressure

from tourism industry. The coastalso suffers degradation due to industrial aquacuhure.

The community
This industrialisation process is already affecting the community. Displacement of

the communities to accomodate large industries, has become a regular feature along the Karnataka coasL Mangalore has already experienced this. Now Uttara
Kannada has also had the taste of displacement, in Karwar. Fishing, which was rhe

main economic activity of the community, is already dwindling. The introduction

of mechanisation, and later, large fishing vessels, has contributed to the depletion of fishery resources. Now, added to this, is the threat of degredation of their
natural habitat, on the coast.

The changes in land use patterns along the coast will have severe effects on the
coastal ecology, and thereby, on the life of the community. Apart from the threat

of displacement, heavy and large-scale constructions can change the geomorphology of the coast. Already erosion is severe along the Karnataka Coast. More and more constructions shall only aggravate this process. Erosion is severe
along many

pars of the coast, affecting fishing villages.

The challenges prevailing along the Karnataka coast are the following:

I

ndustriolisotion ond I nfrosvu cture D evelopme nt

The coastal area is under severe threat of industrialisation. The coast has been

hitherto unused, and therefore land and natural resources are easily

and

economically available. This makes the coast the prime target of industrialisation.

Also, in the coastal areas, it is politically easier to bring in industrialisatiop under the guise of development and infrastructure creation. However, it is seen only in retrospect that the so-called infrastructure and related development is not at all
beneficial for the local communities, but serves only the needs of the various industries.

The forms of development are also not appropriate, and cause great damage to the

fragile coastal ecology. The recent surge of investment into the coastal areas reinforces this phenomenon.

Lond Acquisition
Land acquisition procedures are used without restraing

to further the process of

industrialisation. The restrictions imposed under the Land Acquisition Acr are exploited to the benefit of the indusries, and no heed is paid to the effect that
such acquisition has on local people. Displacement is often on a ver), large scale, and

rehabilitation measures are usually not followed, and where followed, are totally
inadequate. There is no check on this process of acquisition, as the process of
land acquisition

for "public purpose"

is

without question. All the acquisitions that

take place for the purposes of private industries are done, improperly, under this
process, and therefore are not subject

to

any checks.

Chonge

in Lond

Use potterns

This process of land acquisition for industries, has changed entirely the land use pattern of the coastal areas, leading to adverse effects on the environment, as well
as

the local peoples. Coastal agriculturists, fishermen and other traditionally occupied persons are now subject to extreme pressure because of the changes in
the patterns of resource use. The environment
is also damaged, as

the new patterns

of land use are not sustainable, and upset the environmental balance.
P

oll utio n o nd Enviro nmentol D egrod

ation

The increase in environmental pressures is due to these changes in resource use, as well the large problem

of pollution. Industrialisation brings in its wake

urbanisation, and so pollution pressures are felt not only in the form of industrial waste, but also urban waste. The process of infrastructure development does not

provide for adequate waste disposal. Most of the industrial effluents are let out

directly into the sea, affecting not only the environmental integrity of the coast, but also the livelihood of coastal peoples. The spawrring and breeding of fish
dangerously affected, reducing the fish catch of local fisher communities.
is

Tourism os o threot
Industry is also seen to enter in new forms, such
as

tourism. Beach tourism is being

intensively promoted in the coastal regions. The entire coastal stretch of Karnataka
has been declared as a Special Tourism Area (STA)

for the promotion of tourism.

Special Tourism Areas are areas, which have been identified for extensive promotion of the tourism industry by allowing many benefis and tax +relaxations for the growth

of the industry. These benefits are aimed mainly at allowing various forms of tourism Monitoring the Komotoko Coosl

EOUATIONS

infrastructure, for example, hotels, transpoft etc, to come up on a massive scale in those areas, by relaxation of the developmental, and environmental norms for those
areas. The effect of declaring an area as STA is that the local governance bodies,
such as panchayats, are totally overriden. Moreover, special clearance is

to

be given

'from the environmental angle' to all projects, including those not dealing directly
with tourism. This in effectallows for unquestioned degradation of the environmenr,
and free entry

for all industries, without any heed to the repercussions.

Privote Lond Use
Private use of land along the coastal stretches, such as for leisure and recreation in the form of leisure and guest houses, private retreats, holiday "cottages", is now
a

growing phenomenon. Most of these uses have adverse impacts on rhe environment, as well as interfere with the livelihood, life and cultural practices of
the local communities. This form of development can be attributed entirely to the more affluent sections of society, and goes unquestioned for various political and economic reasons.

Coastol Regulotio n Zone Notificotion
It was anticipating these changes along the coastal region that the Coastal Regulation

Zone (CRZ) Notification was introduced in 199l. Looking futuristically at the
modern development and industrialisation process, it was felt the world over that

the coast needed becter procection, for which special laws are required to
created.

be

The spirit of the CRZ notification was protection of the coastal stretches of India, though not in a holistic sense. Prohibiting and regulating constructions and industries

within 500 mts of the coasdine, was a positive initiative. Though the coastal state
governments were reluctant

to accept this,

under the Supreme Couft directives

the state government prepared their Coastal Management Plans , which later got
the Central Governments approval. One believed that the state government would

enforce this regulation.
But what has followed later was total neglect of this. Every opportunity was sought

to undermine the effect of this protective act. Both the public sector,
private sector, have violated this notification, along the coast.

as

well

as

the

=
Inadequocy of the Law
The Law does not afford enough protection to the coastal areas. The statutes such
as

the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification and other instruments, such as the state Coastal Zone Management Plans, are full of loopholes, and do not reflect
actual ground realities. The CRZ is only a zonation law, dealing with the siting of

various types of industries, and not with coastal management as a whole. The provisions of the Notification also do not allow for effective protection of the coastal
environmenq including the people dependent on the coast.

I

nefficient functioning of Authorities.

Also, the authorities involved in the entire process, ranging from the Coastal Zone
Management Authority, to the Town Planning Authorities, Pollution Control Board,
and so on, do not function efficiently. The bureaucracy tends ro support and facilitate the government goals ofencouraging industry and infrastructure, rather than advancing

the causes of the coastal environment. The result of this is that various violations go
unquestioned, and many improper permissions and clearances are got by the industries,

allowing for total disregard of the law.

At the end of the day, mainly the environmeng and the local people feel the adverse
effects, while the benefits go to the private investors, and the industry. lt is all these

factors which urge that stock be taken of the coast of Karnataka, so that all
developments can be understood and analised to give the complete and real picture.

Monitoring the Kornotoko Coosl

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Monitoring the Karnataka Coast
Dakshina Kannada

:

Dakshina Kannada and the disturbing industrialisation
The transfer from nature based industries
is the fundamental issue in

to

large scale and hazardous industries

Dakhina Kannada. Traditionally, fishing and agriculture

formed the economy of the region. Tile manufacturing industries later thrived in

the region, introduced during the colonial period. lt was much recently the

cash

crop cashew and beedi took the form of industry'in the region. The Mangalore

port set the pace for modern industries.
The modern large-scale industries have the ability to generate ancillary units that could feed the reguirement of their products. According to an estimation each
year roughly around 600 to 800 units in small scale sector are being set up in the state. This is predominantly in small-scale sector with an investment less than 60

lakh based on fixed capital investment on plant and machinery. The number of registered small-scale units in 1992-93 was close calculation this could have increased
1998-99

to 9000 units. By the above to a wobbling number of 13200 units by
year.

if calculated in an average of 700 units per

The large-scale industries are nine in number, while there are 24 medium-scale
industries.

With the economic liberalisation

and the boost

to private sector it

is

estimated thataround 36 mega-industries, including power projects, are being planned at Dakhina Kannada. Nearly all the existing industries, also, have plans for expansion.

The new phenomenon in Dakshina Kannada is the spree cf power projects. The

poft act as a catalyst for this. One prominent contender for one of these projects is the controversial Congentrix Power Company, that wanted to establish a 1000 MW coal based power project. While such a large project would take years to commission, the state government is looking forward to intermediary
Mangalore
sources for fast completion and generation of power. The numerous barge mounted

power projecs planned in the state, is such a move. The situation is thus created, for industries to disregard the environment and the
people, has put the people

of Dakshina Kannada onto a warpath with the

state

administration. What has not been taken into consideration, according to the people,
is the ecology of the region. The concentration of such large number of industries

is bound

to

have impacs on the coastal environment, and thereby, the livelihood

of the people. This is apart from the land requirement and related displacement of=

the people.
The environmenal issues related to these developments seem to be of no concern

to the state authorities. There seem to be no scientific tools applied to understand

the impacts of such developments. Modern industries, and their impacts, are so
complex that traditional understanding is defunct, in such situations. The industries,
and the pollution generated by them, is a typical example,

to understand how archaic

the system functioning in the state is. The pollution control board grans clearance

to factories, considering whether the pollution generated by an individual unit
within the accepted permissible level. But what is not taken into consideration

is is

that when a number of such units are grouped together, it is not the permissible
level that matters as far as the environment is considered, but their cumulative
effect. The result of such criminal negligence by the authorities is evident in Mangalore.

The situation in Dakshina Kannada today is verT volatile. This came out openly
during the agitation against the Congentrix power project, that has even lead to police firing and killings. The logical question that the people of Dakshina Kannada
have been asking throughout the agitation, is why should they pay with their lives and livelihood for a power company, which power is primarily for the consumpdon

of Bangalore, the capital city

?

The issue in Dakshina Kannada is that of people versus modern development,
environment and livelihood, against polluting and hazardous industries, sensitivity
and well being of systems, versus indifferent and senseless systems. The issue is very

complex and stems from modern economic and political decisions.
Keeping in mind these complexities, and also the sensitive nature of the issues while

monitoring the Karnataka Coast, the industrial belt was kept aside. lnstead what was looked at w:rs predominantly related to the state's and Coastal Zone Management

Authorities la< attitude towards the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification of 199l.
ldentified sites were chosen considering ecological imporcance of the coastal stretch, and non-implementation of the CRZ was documented. The objective was

to cite

examples by which such non-implementation, Dr rather, violation could be brought

to the acention of the concerned authorities fcr prompt action.

Monitoring the Karnotoko Coosl

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SURVEY OF DAKSHINA KANNADA COAST
The Dakshin Kannada district has a coastline of about | 60 Kms. close by the Arabian
Sea.

The coastline is highly indented and as many as eight main rivers drain the heavy

rainfall of the Western Ghats Catchments to the Arabian Sea. The important rivers

are the Netravati, the Gurpur, the Udiyavara, the Mulki and Pavange, the Sita and
Swarna, the Haladi, the Chakra, Kollur and Baindur rivers'

*

Tolapody
Talapady is the southernmost coastal village on the border of Karnataka and Kerala.

The revenue name of this village

is Talapady, falling under the taluka panchayat

limia

of Ullal. Adjacent to this village, there is an estuary (locally known

as Talapady River

and its estuarT). High sand dune formations and Representative Mangroves are found

in this estuary.

Findings and Analysis:

.

This area is not included in the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP). The
estuary, sand dunes and the lush green mangroves together should have qualified
as CRZ

for categorising the area

l. Buq this area has not been included in the
as described

cjz:MP, and the reason therefor is not known. Such omission can constitute a

violation of the CRZ rules, which requires thatthe areas

thereunder

to be classified into the CRZ zones

as given.

.

Sand mining activities are being carried out on the Mud flats of this area. There

are about ten small boats engaged in these activities. Each boat makes ten trips

in a day, Each trip fetches them Rs.50/-, ( 100 x 50 = Rs5000/-). Sand mined in this area is transported to Mangalore and other places for constructions.

Under rhe CRZ norification, (sub-heading lX under the heading of Prohibited Activities), mining of sand is prohibited. Sand mining, that is removal of beach sand
for construction, industrialand other uses, can upsetthe coastal equilibrium established by nature. This may also have an adverse impact on the Mangroves Present in this
area. Removal of sand dunes also leads

to flooding,

change in the course of water

flow, and makes the area more Prone to coastal erosion and sea-level rise.

.
'

On the opposite side, towards the northern bank of the estuar/ From the Karnataka Coasal Zone Management Plan,
1996'

a new residential

building is being constructed. lt
is

is

within 50 Mts. From the HTL. The construction =

towards tJre seaward side of a newly constructed 'kucha' road. This area hlls

under the Talapady village Panchayac This construction is said

to

be that of a

contr?ctor from Mangalore.

The construction is within the No Development Tone (NDZ), clearing coastal
vegetation that
is

abundant in the region. Underthe norms for Regulation of Activities
is

no new constructions are permitted within the 200 Mts. Of HTL which

the NDZ.

Therefore the aforementioned residential construction is a clear violation of the CRZ Notification. The building also violates the FSI regulations set by the CRZ.
Assuming that the area is considered as CRZ ll, in the.absence of such demarcations
in the CZMP of Karnatdka, the construction remains a clear violation of CRZ norms.

The norms for regulation of activities under CRZ ll clearly state that buildings shall be permitted only on the landward side of the existing road. The construction in question is, however, on the seaward side of the existing road.

The law, in this case, is not only ineffective but is absent. By failing to include the
area under the CZMP, there is no scope for effective protection

or

management

of this coastal stretch. This is clear from the extent of illegal activities occurring
here, such as sand mining.

lt

can also be seen that the lack of legal authority over

this area allows for private use and exploitation of the area, in violation of the CRZ norms,

Someshwora Village
To the North of Talapady is Someshwara Village, which is hmous for the ancient
Somanatha Temple there. Sunday 3000
a visit

lt

is located on a cliff that protrudes into the sea. EverT 10,000 devotees pay

to 4000 devotees come over here. More than
as a

to have a sea bath

ritual on every Shanrana Teertha Amavase.

Findings and Analysis:

.

The area is rocky. Direct entry from the road to the beach is barred by such rock formations. There are abutting cliffs within CRZ zone around 300 Mts. of
HTL. There is an ongoing cutting of these

rock for

making grinding stones.

The area falls under CRZ

ll

in the CZMP. According to the Prohibited Activities (ix)

of CRZ mining of rocks is prohibited from the CRZ zone, and therefore the activit), carried on is in violation of the CRZ Regulations.
Monltoilng the Kornotoko Coqsl

EAUATIONS.

North of Someshwora Villoge
The area falls under CRZ ll categon/ in the CZ:MP and falls within the limits of
Someshwara Village Panchayat. The land ward side of the village road is thickly
populated, whereas the seaward side is comparatively less crowded. From the village

road to the beach is around 300 Mts.

Findings and Analysis:

' A layout work is in progress

for constructing a residential complex of

600

government quarters. New roads with drainage are being laid out. To the uphill
side of this place, a water tank has been constructed to which water is fed from

the nearby well located within this area. This new layout will also have a post
office, nursing home, garden, etc. According to information gathered on the
ground, each residential quarter costs about Rs.2 lakhs. The complex is within

500 Mt. Zone. The complex would extend into the NDZ, according to the
present layout. The norms for regulation of Activities in CRZ ll clearly state that "buildings shall be permitced only on the landward side of the existing road or on the landward side of

the existing authorised structures". The CZMP shows the National Highway l7
running parallel

as

to the coast in this

area, and therefore is

to be considered

as the

main road. Even if the village road is considered, the residential complex is neverthless
a

violation, since it is towards the seaward side of the road. Only the master plan of

the complex will make clear the extend and position of the complex. At present the layout is extending into the NDZ.

Tonnirbhovi
It is a place situated on a thin strip of land in-between the Gurupura River and the
Arabian
Sea.

The C,Z;MP classifies the area as being CRZ l, and records the presence

of mangroves in the CRZ I belc No land is recorded as being CRZ ll or lll. The

CZMf describes the area

as prone

ro exrreme erosion and also under tremendous

pressure from local population. lt also says that bore water pressure plays a pivotal

role in initiating severe erosion along the beach. lt is also an Olive Ridley Turtle
RookerT, verT much an ecologically sensitive area.

Findings and Analysis:

=
is included in CRZ l, falls under

o

fi

200-mw Barge mount plant is coming up at Tannirbhavi on the River the limits

Gurpur. According to the CZMP the area

of Surathkal Taluka Panchayac To transport the power generated by this plant
Karnataka Electricity Board has constructed Transmission Towers in the river Gurpur.
Since Tannirbhavi is in CRZ I the whole area is a No Development Zone. The region

by its very nature is an ecologically sensitive area. The CZMP clearly vouches for

this, by including the area in CRZ I category. Therefore, the construction of
Tannirbhavi barge mounted power plant in this Zone is a clear violation of the CRZ

Notification.

St Mon/s lslond
It is a 50 million-year-old island located llzkm to the nofth of Malpe Portand
is

hmous for its basalt rocks, which have crystallised into hexagonal columns. lt is the

only port in India where basalt rocks show up in such peculiar formations. The
CZ:MP describes these islands as beautiful natural settings,

with columnar rocks,
is

which are a unique geo-morphological features and vegetation. Sc MarT's lsland
open to visitors only from October to end of May.

Findings and Analysis:

.

St. Mary's lsland Beach is badly littered with waste and plastics polluting the

entire stretch.
Hundreds of day picnickers and sea bathers come to this beach every day. But there are no facilities provided for them.

Kota Beoch
Kota is a village situated 35 km ro the south of Kundapur Taluka. The revenue name

of this-village is Manus Grama, with a population of about 5000. lt is one of the
coastal villages where fishing is very intensive. People residing in this area are mainly

fish merchant and coconut planters. There are three marine industries located in the
village -Jupiter Marine Pvc Limited, Janata Aquatic Products and Tolar Ocean Products

Private Limited. This village is not included in the CZMP.

Monltoring the Ko/,/lotoko Coosl

EOUATIONS

Findings and Analysis:

'

The village is under severe threat of erosion. According the President of the
Village Panchayac the area had a beach extending upto 3 km inside of where the
sea is presendy. The sea has engulfed this whole area and the process is continuing

till this day. Three ),ears ago big boulders, upto 15ft in height, were along the coast to reduce sand erosion. All the boulders have sunk.

dumped

This village and the nearby area are erosion prone. The reason for this needs

to

be

established through further studies. However, dumping boulders and building sea

walls is not the answer. The best option, for the time being, would be to relocate
the village funher away from the beach. This would help free sea -coast interaction,

without human interference. The area is ecologically very sensitive and needs
protecdon. Any new constructional activities in the should not be permitted,
area as CRZ l, after offering alternatives
as

this will be both ecologically harzadous as well as incur financial loss. Declaring the

to the local community, is the way out.

Morovonthe
The CZMP lists this area as having outstanding beauty, and therefore as part of CRZ l. lt does not delineate any areas as being between the LTL and HTL. lt also includes

CRZ ll and lll areas. The CZMP says that coastal erosion has played "severe havoc"
in this area, and stresses the need for a 'broad and lengthy sea wall'. There is also fishing activity in this area. The area has high harvest of shell fish mussels.

Findings and Analysis:

.

Near Maravanthe village a hotel by name "Sea View" is under construction, and is within 50 Mts. of HTL. The distance between HTL up to 200 Mts. is No Development Zone. No new constructions including hotels and resorts are permitted. The hotel also violates the
FSI regulations, as lay

down by the CRZ.

Hotel $ea View L a clear violation of CRZ norms. Resorts are permitted along the coast only beyond the NDZ that is, 200 Mts. The construction is also towards the
seaward side of the road, the National Highway. There is a court case pending
against this hotel

for violation of CRZ. But when this monitoring was carried out

construction activities were going on at the hotel site.

(Above) Talapady: Sand mining. (Below) Mangroves along the Talapady estuary

violationcfeRZNorms {Bclow) Residential building,uncereonstruetion,ontheoppositebanksoftheestuary;in

Someshwara Village: Residential complex under

(Below)Rock mining near Somanatha temple at Someshwara village

liotr.r :3eeich: :::ea ei'irsil1!

1s

r':ini;.rant

Maravanthe beaeh: Hotel Seaview under construction, in blatant violation of e RZ n0fms

Seawall at Maravanthe.

Ihe entirc area is prone
io erosion rv
ih-o sea

Monitoring Karnataka Coast: Uttara Kannada
The coastal tract begins in the North from Village Majali on the Goa border, and
continues in the south upto the Dakhina Kannada boundary,
a

=

litde beyond the port

of Bhatkal. lt varies in width from about l6 to 48 kilometres, depending upon the
nature of estuaries and the intermediate tableland. Contrary to the general impression,

this is not a plain but a succession of estuarine area connected by narrow coastal
strip with the large fishing village of Majali, a centre of fishing activit)r. Fisheries have
assumed great importance and much of it consists of both the sea and inland fisheries,

mollusks, o)rsters and prawns. Soon after the tides, the shallow bed in the estuary
a scene of frequent activity

is

for the local population in search of seafood. The sandy

coastline, and coastal dunes, have considerably influenced local agriculture. Along the coasg the Causuarina plantations tr), to arrest the migration of sands inwards on

the fertile alluvial land.*

Wither Kanvar : The

Sea

Bird Project

"People who sacrificed their land would lead a better life, and not one tear would be

allowed to roll from their eyes". These were the words of late Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi, as he laid the foundation stone for the Sea Bird Naval Projec, in | 986. But he
is not alive today

to wipe the tears of the thousands in Karwar and Ankola taluks.

Uttara Kannada is competing with Dakshina Kannada in displacing people, and
ecological disaster. What it took more than two decades for Dakhina Kannda of

what it is today, the people of Uaara Kannda has been experiencing since the last

two years.
The ambitious Sea Bird project claimed to be the largest in Asia, has already displaced

4779
phase,

.Fa;milies

from

13 villages

of Karwar. 8423 acres of prime coastal and coastal

agricultural land has been acquired for this projecc The project is only on its first

ii*

Rs.OOO

crores investment ptans to be completed in the next five years.

While the Government found such a large amount for the projet, same government
could not find money to rehabilitate the people in
a

decent, humaniarian, environment.

The displaced people are still waiting for a decent settlement. People who had been living in spacious houses and lands have

to be content to live in colonies in the

future. lt required the National Human Rights commission to intervene and suggest

'

From the Karnaala Coasal Zone Management Plan, 1996.
Monitorlng the Kdrnotokq Coosf

EOUATIONS

basic amenities like drinking water, sewage and drainage hcilities

to be provided

in

the couple of rehabilitation centers already provided.

After being looted for everything they had, 26 families from Allegadda

had

to face

the wrath of the police while demanding for a speedy settlement. They were lathi
charged, which the police denied, claiming that they had only fired tear gas shells disperse the crowd.

to

The people were tested with every known trick that the administration is capable of. While there was a plea in the High Court that eviction in Benaga, Araga and Chendya villages be initiated only after proper rehabilitation measures were
completed, the local administration demolished 500 houses, when the courts were
closed for holidays. 2000 displaced people had to obsenre a black day (from Karwar
and Ankola taluks)

to open the eyes of

naval and local administration

to their plight.
is a

The 600 crore project is a joint venture between India, Germany and Holland. lt

consortium of engineers and consultants undertaking the development of the base.
Larsen and Toubro would superuise the work as chief consultants and contractors.

The present Defence Minister, while inaugurating the proiect work, has been very
enthusiastic about the local developments and opportunities for local entrepreneurs
and workers. But the local realities are different. Ms. Margaret Alva, MP, complained

about the way things are managed here. Project sub- contractors and transport contractors are from outside. Even the labourers are being brought from outside,
according to the MP. The justification given by the naval administration was about

the skills required for the kind of work that is to be done here. While the displaced people are running from pillar to post for their compensation
and promise d ex

gntia payments, the local administration

is taking advantage of

the
Sea is

opportunity. Mr. Prabhakar Rane, former minister and honorary president of the

Bird Naval Project and Konkan Railway Evacuees Forum, said that corruption

rampant in the local administration. They are milking the blood, out of the displaced
people, who approach them for assistance and compensation. He had demanded the

transfdi of entire staff of the local administration, according to newspaper reports.
Farmers are crucified
passed

for no fault of theirs. Awards for acquisition of land were
of Rs.150 per gunta. But even after twelve long

in

1986, at rhe then price

years, the compensation is still at the same rate. Since serving of the notice twelve years ago, community were not allowed to grow crops in the acquired lands, though

they are lying idle ever since. lt seems that once the award is made for the acquired

land, there is no provision for changing the award, however lengthy the time taken =

for implementing the award.
But the gravest threat

to Karwar

coast and the coastal communities are long term.
is

One has to wait and watch how much of the coastal land would remain the way it
Sea Bird

today. Looking at the design, it is worthwhile to seek information on the impact of

on nearby coastal areas. According to reports, 5.2 km length breaharater to be constructed
in the sea. The experience

between Binaga point and Anjadeev islands in the north and between Round lsland
and Arge in south, is

with breakwaters

is that while the sea inside the breaharater is kept calm, the nearby areas would be

affected both by erosion as well as by accretion. This depends upon the various features and dynamics of the sea and the coast. To construct these breakuraters,
dredging will have to be done on the sea bed, till rocks are found and the breaharater

will be built on it. lt would require huge quantities of granite to build the breaharaters.
The project has identified grinite from the Aligadde hills for this.

What

is

to be looked at is the long-term impacts of the Sea Bird project. These are

both environmental as well as social. The Karwar region is the verT rare region
where the Western Ghats and the sea are inseparable. The ecological implications

of this, as well as disturbing the seabed, are bound to have impacts that are longterm. Also Sea Bird being a naval project, would bring in restrictions both on land
and the sea, once it starts operation.

Another development targeted for Karwar is tourism. The unique coastal features
of the region attract tourism here. There is also the tourism industry pressure from
across the Goan border, since the beaches there are too crowded with constructions, and are becoming lesser and lesser attractive. ln the for new pastures, Karwar is the

nearest are

to which tourism can spread. An earlier attempt for a mega torrrist

destination in Majali Panchayat of Karwar had a setback since the community and

the panchayat opposed the project. Now the tactics have changed. Instead of large
single projects, there are attempts for smaller projects.

Konkah Railway was the first to disturb the lives and environment of the region.

Now it

is

the Sea Bird and tourism projects. The coastal land is coming increasingly,

under pressure both from these developments and also new settlers that is, the
displaced projects.

Monitoring the Kornotoko Coosl

EQUATIONS

SURVEY UTTARA KANNADA COST
Bengre Beach
Bengre is a village situated at a distance of about

l0 km to the north of Bha*al

taluka. The beach is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The entire area is included

under CRZ lll, under the CZMP, and no areas under CRZ I or ll. The CZ;I{P
describes the area as being upward topology leading to flat upland, and that there

is heayy human encroachment in the area, which is especially severe along the
backshore. The area is said

to be prone to heavy coasal erosion. The CZMP

also

states that the area has unregulated fishing activity.

Findings and Analysis:

.

A new road has been constructed right on the NDZ. HTL. The road obstructs
the growth of natural vegetation by dividing the sandy beach.

The road is not mentioned in the CZ,MP of the state. it is not clear whether the
authorities had permission to build this road, or the State CoastalZone Management

Authority is aware of ic As the CZMP surtes, the area is erosion prone. The road would only enhance this process. Taking into consideration the sensitivity of the
region it would be senre better if the area is recategorised as CRZ l. Since there
is

no habitation on the immediate coast such categorisation would not be an obstacle

to the local community also.

Murdeshworo Beoch
Murdeshwara Beach is a pilgrimage place located at 4 km

to the north of

Bengre

village. Here the famous Murdeshwara temple is located. The CZMP describes
the temple as being surrounded by dense habitation, close to the beach.

Findings and analysis:

.

The Murdeshwara temple is located on a hillock protruding into the sea. All three sides of the temple are surrouhded by sea. At the time of monitoring,

the temple authorities are constructing two high-rise buildings around the temple, a four-storey building meant to be the entrance Sate to the temple
towards the east and, another four-storey on the cliffarea, which protrudes into

the sea" towards the south of the temple hcing the sea. A new starue of around

=

fifty metres height, is also under construction. This area is included in CRZ lll according to the CZ;MP.
These constructions are in total disregard of any nbrms or authoriq/ in this country.

The temple authorities seem to believe they are the law. This is quite objectionable
since such huge constructions cannot be carried out without the knowledge of the

authorities. The minutes of the Coastal Zone Management Authority's workings
should be scrutinized

to

see

who has cleared these construcrions. lt is the right of

every citizen to know on whatgrounds itwas cleared, and have both the Management

Authority and the Temple Management prosecuted.
ldeally, the temple and the beach should be recategorised as
is of

cRz

l, since the place

extremely outstanding natural beauty, its historical, and also ecologically sensitive

in nature.
These constructions will remain as the worst examples of bypassing the law of the

nation, and would send distorted signals about the capability of the law. This is a
clear case needing direct intervention of Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Gokorna Beoch
Gokarna is a historical pilgrimage place situated 25 Kms to the north of Kumta
taluka. The CZMP lists most of the areas as

cRz ll, except for

a

few mangroves

which are listed in CRZ l. lt lists a portion of the beach as being used as a cemetery. It also records a lot of encroachment into the beach.

Gokarna is a world renowned pilgrim tourist destination. Tourism is at its peak in
the area. New hotels and resorts are either under construction or there are proposed.

Vast coastal land area in and around Gokarna is being brought over for tourism

relate6'construction. There are foreign nationals also involved in tourism business
here. This area is included in CRZ lll category according to the CZ:I{P.

Findings and Analysis:

'

The construction of a new road, within 50Mts. of the HTL. The road hinders
natural flow of tidal water during hightide.

Monilorlng the Kornotoko Coosf

EOUATIONS

'

Adjacent to this new road is a two-storey hotel

-

Kinara hotel

is

is under
within 50

construction. The ground floor is already operationalised. The hotel

Mts. from the HTL from the seafront and on the edges of an inlet of the sea

towards the south. The construction has violated FSI/ FAR norms of CRZ.

The local people have lodged complaints to the authoriries regarding the illegal construction of the Kinara hotel. But no action seems to have been taken. Taking
appropriate action on this issue is a must, since Gokarna is fast growing as a tourist
area. Evading action shall only encourage similar violations.

Taking into consideration of the natural beauty and historical importance of the region the place could be classified as CRZ l.

Kutli Beoch
Kutli is a small village situated

I

ll2km to the south of Gokarna. lt has a beach with

outstanding natural beauty. The Hallakki Tribes dominates Kutli village, but, the

of the Hallakki tribes are being purchased by the landlords who are from either North India or from South India, to construct new hotels/resorrs in this
lands
area,

Findings and Analysis:

'

Adiacent to the Kutli village is a cliff protruding into the sea. Uma Maheshwar

temple is located right on the top of this cliff. Area adjacent to this is sited for construction of a resort. Landscaping and planting of exotic species of plants
have already taken place in the properq/.

CRZ regulations prohibit landscaping on coastal stretches. The place is also being introduced

to new species of plants. What is disturbing is that the CZMP

does

not mention places like the Kulti in the CZMP. The area is of oustanding natural
beauty and a specimen of coastal biodiversity. This is important, since being in
a

tourist location, the chances of sUch places to be converted into hotels are plenty.

Not being marked and classified
place.

in

the

CZ;MP also robs

the local groups and people

of the oppertunity to approach the concerned authorities, when violations take

Om Beoch
Half a kilometre

=
to the south of Kulti beach is the world 6mous om
beach. The

beach derived its name from the shape of Sanskrit alphabet 'om' and the similarity

of protruding rock formations on the beach. Many foreign tourists flock to this place from November to May. This area is of oustanding natural beauty. The
place is attracting aftention of tourist entrepreneurs. A number of land trinsactions

have taken place recently, though these lands have not yet been converted to

resorts or hotels.

Findings and Analysis:

. A new road has been constructed
to this
beach.

to this place, trenching work.all along the

constructed road is being carried out and power lines have been drawn upto

.

There is a proposal to construct one R G Hotel, wofth Rs.2 crores. One Mr. A. Chatterjee has purchased an area of about 62 acres to complete this project in this Om beach area. R.G. Hotel projects coming up in the northern part of this area would fall under 500 Mts. distance from the HTL.

'

This area is not included in the CZ;MP. Whole of this area is of oustanding natural beauty and, should be included in the CRZ-I categon/.

Gokarna and its surroundings ask for strict monitoring by the concerned authorities. Since these are remote places with very high potential

for tourism development

the area is constantly under pressure. Systems have to be created for local
panchayats and youths

to be aware of the CRZ, and the need for protection of

the coastal ecology.

Mojoli
This is the last panchayat in Karwar, bordering Goa, and is a place of active fishing and agriculture. There are broad beaches here. Peaceful fishing settlements are spread along the beaches. Recently there has been an influx of people, who came

to this area and buying land. These are the displaced people from the Sea Bird Naval
Project site. Earlier the Karnataka Industrial Development Corporation along with

Monitorlng the Kornotokq Coqst

EQUATIONS

the Tai Group of Hotels had plans to convert the place into a large tourism-project.
Land acquisition notices were served to the people. However the panchayat and the

local community stood out against this, and were able to aborc the projecr Now

there are moves by smaller entrepreneurs for tourism projects. The new identified
area is Tilmati of Majali Panchayar

Findings and analysis

'

Proposal for tourism project at Tilmati by M/s. Baba Boating Club. The area

is

not specifically marked in the C,ZMP.
Tilmati is one of the rarest coastal forestland in Karnataka with lbundant species of flora and fauna. The community depends on this forest for medicinal, ritualistic and occasionally fuel requirements. Convefting this area into a tourism proiect
shall destroy the foresc since no constructions could be made here without clearing

the forest.

Conclusion
The entire debate in India, on the coastal issues, is based on the mechanism to regulate development and protect the coast. Towards this end, the main
instruments used have been the CRZ Notification itself, and the ensuing CZMPs,
which allow for the-application of dre CRZ in each coastal State. This entire process has been vitiated

=

in Karnataka, as the

CZ;MP maps are inadequate, and

do not

include areas which are CRZ" :rs per the definitions given in the Notification. This
is a serious lacuna and must be remedied. There is a clear need for proper mapping

of the coastal area, and proper classification into various CRZ zones. Stricter implementation of laws, when giving clearances for projects, is required.
Usually required procedures, such as EIA and Public Hearing are not followed.

Land acquisition is without heed
the State

to the due procedures.

Laws are rampantly

bypassed, by the Governmeng and private industry. This reflects the priorities
as being developmeng and

of

not protection of environment, or local peoples.

Even while new development and thereby, changes, are taking place

on a very
is

large scale along the coastal region, what is not being taken into consideration

the need to understand these changes with a larger and long term perspective.
The government, and its other arms like the Pollution Control Board are satisfied

at looking at these developments in the conventional style, whereas the
developments, both in volume and complexity, are beyond the way it is understood today.

The people are very much aware of the nature and impacts of these developments.

Drastic changef in their living and occupational space have forced them to think
beyond their immediate space. The challenges the Dakshina Kannada community and groups have posed in front of the state administration vouch

for this. They have asked for a complete master plan of developments, both existing and proposed. In many of the agitations and legal battles with the government and industries, they have asked for arrangement of the carrying capacity of the region for any future developments. This is a growth that the people have achieved the
hard way. At dre same time the authorities seem to be happy dealing these issues in the age-old fashion.

Monitorlng the Kornotoko Coosf

The role played by the Coastal Zone Management Authority of the state
objectanable.

is

lt

has not even fulfiled its basic commirments, like providing the

Coastal Zone Management Plan to officials dealingwith these issues. The knowledge,

or at times, even the existence of such a document is alien to

man), such officials.

Most of the district head quarters do not have a copy of the CZMP, This is a fact, eventhough most developments today are happening in the coastal zones.

Murdeshwara: Blaiani violation of ihe CRZ bv

iie

Temple Auihorities

Kutli beach: Identified for construction of a
resort. Work is in progress

Gokarna: Tourism constructions and road, in vioiation of the eRZ Non-ns

(Below) Kinara Hotei, under construction within ihe No-Developmeni Zone

{Above) Karwar: The Seabird Navai Pnoject (Left) OonstruutioR of a seawall ai Majali

liie ,iiliqLie

=lee,ll;;;l:-ii.

R:j

;+i=s'i. ;f illmeii

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