Urban development, environmental vulnerability and CRZ violations in India: impacts on fishing communities and sustainability implications in Mumbai coast Hemantkumar A. Chouhan1 • D. Parthasarathy1 Sarmistha Pattanaik1
Received: 15 April 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
Abstract Coastal Regulations in India are traced back to the UN Conference on Human Environment, held in Stockholm in 1972. The Environment Protection Act (EPA) 1986 was enacted to implement India’s commitments as a signatory. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification of 1991 was made under the provisions of the EPA in order to protect coastal environments and social and livelihood security of fishing community. This paper assesses the effects of CRZ rules and violations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which has experienced tremendous growth due to the rapid industrialization and urbanization. This process has led to the destruction of mangroves and other important species of fish which play a crucial role in sustaining the coastal ecology and urban biodiversity; high population density and uneven growth have exacerbated adverse environmental and socioeconomic consequences. The Koli (fishing community) in this region faces huge problems of survival and sustenance in small-scale fishing, due to the rampant commercial fishing by big trawlers and large-scale dumping of waste materials by the industries surrounding the vicinity into the sea. In small but significant ways, the fishing communities through their traditional commons-based resource management and livelihood systems protect the coastal ecology and help the cities in reducing their carbon footprints. On the basis of primary field research in Thane–Mulund Creek Bhandup, Chimbai, and Sewri, this paper attempts to assess CRZ violations taking place on coastal areas and is causing damage to the coastal ecology. The research specifically has focused on the particular fishing-related activities and spaces—such as: jetties, parking of boats, access to sea, weaving and drying of nets, landing grounds, drying and cleaning of fish that are more affected by encroachment of seashore area and by CRZ rules violations. It evaluates the
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400076, India
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actions taken by Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and Bombay Municipal Corporation while implementing rules and making Integrated Coastal Zone Management plan for management of marine environment. It raises broader issues relating to the contradictions and complementarities involved in ICZM plans vis-a-vis management of biodiversity, within a larger context of rapid urbanization and demands for real estate growth. The paper argues that urban biodiversity management requires clear valuation of the longterm ecological and socioeconomic benefits of sustenance of coastal ecology and related livelihoods. Keywords Urban development Environmental vulnerability CRZ violations Sustainability
1 Introduction This paper is an attempt to study the implementation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, their violations, and impact on coastal ecology, particularly fishing-related activities and spaces within the CRZ I zone in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The current CRZ Notification was officially notified on January 6, 2011. While it uses the 1991 notification as its base, it also codifies the 25 amendments to the notification. Its stated objectives are primarily to ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in these coastal areas and to conserve and protect coastal stretches. In addition, it tries to promote national development in a sustainable manner based on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards and induced hazards such as rising sea level as a result of global warming. The notification defines the CRZ to include the land area from the high tide line (HTL) to 500 m on the landward side as well as the land area between HTL to 100 m or width of the creek, whichever is less, on the landward side along tidal-influenced water bodies connected to the sea (Sharma 2011). As in the 1991 notification, the 2011 notification classifies the 0- to 500-m coastal strip into four categories: CRZ I (ecologically sensitive areas), CRZ II (built-up areas), CRZ III (rural areas), and CRZ IV territorial waters and tidal-influenced water bodies (Sharma 2011). This study focuses on the Mumbai Metropolitan Region which is the largest coastal city in India; the region has experienced tremendous growth due to rapid economic growth and urbanization. Mumbai is also the major center of business and financial activity in India. As a result, there has been continuous and constant influx of population from the rest of the country. The high population density and uneven growth rate have resulted in environmental as well as socioeconomic problems due to unplanned and non-integrated coastal developmental activities over the years. These problems need to be addressed in developing a coastal management plan for the MMR region (Murthy et al. 2010). Studies show that there are about 3.52 million fishers occupying the 3202 fishing villages spread across the Indian coastline (Vivekanandan 2007). According to the Fisheries Census of 2005 (CMFRI1 2006), there are around 50,000 fish workers in Greater Mumbai but activists working with fish workers have estimated the population as more than 100,000 in the
Central Marine Research Institute.
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Mumbai Metropolitan Region 1 (MMR)2 as a whole. There are thousands of other fisheries-dependent people (Parthasarathy 2011). The paper seeks to achieve different research objectives on the basis of primary field research in Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Thane–Mulund Creek, Bhandup, Chimbai, and Sewri in Mumbai. In attempting to assess CRZ implementation and violations in coastal areas that are damaging the coastal ecology, this research specifically focuses on particular fishingrelated spaces such as, jetties, parking areas for boats, landing grounds, access to sea, and fishing activities such as weaving and drying of nets, drying and cleaning of fish, and fish markets that are all affected by encroachment of external activities on the seashore and due to violations of CRZ rules. It evaluates the action taken by the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) who together implement the CRZ rules; the former is responsible for making the Integrated Coastal Zone Management plan (ICZMP) for marine environment; Against a larger context of rapid urbanization and demands for rising real estate demands, the study argues that urban environmental management requires clear valuation of the long-term environmental and socioeconomic benefits of sustaining coastal ecology and related livelihoods.
2 The new CRZ 2011: a brief history The genesis of Coastal Regulations in India can be traced back to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in June 1972. The Environment Protection Act (EPA) 1986 was enacted to implement decisions taken at this conference to which India was a signatory. The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF 2009) now renamed as Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) issued the CRZ Notification of 1991 under the provisions of the EPA with the purpose of preserving the coastal environment, and in particular, the ecologically fragile areas, by regulating use along the coastal areas. However, the 1991 CRZ Notification was not implemented properly and it diluted the comprehensive measures of protection and conservation of coastal environment; hence, several criticisms emerged from environmentalists and activists working with fishing communities. The 1991 Notification proposed uniform regulations for the entire Indian coastline which includes 5500 km of mainland and 2000 km coastline of the islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. The 1991 notification failed to factor in the high levels of diversity along the Indian coastline in terms of biodiversity, hydrodynamic conditions, demographic patterns, natural resources, and geomorphological and geological features. It failed to provide clear procedure for obtaining CRZ clearances, and no time lines were specified for implementation and execution of the rules (Jamwal 2010). There was no clearance monitoring mechanism or clearcut enforcement mechanism to check violations. Mapping of violations, encroachment, pollution, and the different zones was not done effectively. The more than 25 amendments to the rules over a two-decade period diluted the core objectives of the CRZ Notification. In consequence, CRZ 2011 attempts to address all these issues in a comprehensive manner
Mumbai is here used variously to refer to the city limits of the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation, the Mumbai Urban Agglomeration as used by the Census of India, and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region as it has been administratively defined by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. So it includes a number of cities, towns and villages outside the island city and outside the limits of the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
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and also aimed to incorporate the recommendation of the. M.S. Swaminathan committee set up to review the 1991 notification (Chouhan and Parthasarathy 2015).3 The CRZ Notification 2011 was officially notified on January 6, 2011. While it uses the 1991 notification as its base, it also codifies the 25 amendments to the notification. Its stated objectives are to ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in coastal areas. In addition to earlier provisions, the CRZ now also includes for the first time the water and bed area between the low tide line (LTL) to the territorial water limit (12 nautical miles) in case of the sea, as well as the water and the bed area of tidal-influenced water bodies, such as creeks, rivers, and estuaries. This new notification reconciles three objectives: 1. 2. 3.
Protection of livelihoods of traditional fisher communities Preservation of coastal ecology Promotion of economic activity that have necessarily to be located in coastal regions.
Four categories of Coastal Regulation Zones have been identified in the CRZ 2011 Notification.
2.1 Category-I (CRZ I)4 This includes areas that are ecologically sensitive and important, such as national parks/marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wildlife habitats, mangroves, corals/coral reefs, breeding and spawning grounds of fish, and other marine life. This has been termed as ‘‘No Development Zone’’.
2.2 Category-II (CRZ II) Under this category, there are areas that are already developed close to the shoreline.
2.3 Category-III (CRZ III) These areas are relatively undisturbed and include areas which do not belong to either category I or II. These include coastal zones in the rural areas (developed and undeveloped) (DNA 2011).
2.4 Category-IV (CRZ IV) Coastal stretches in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Small Island except those designated as CRZ I, CRZ II, CRZ III5 are included in this category. The new Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 norms, released by the MoEF, have already begun attracting criticism. The then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh (2011) had identified ‘‘protection of livelihoods of traditional fisherfolk and promotion of economic activity for this coastal community’’ as one of the prime objectives behind the new norms (Sharma 2011). Fisherfolk, however, have raised objections against certain clauses claiming that these seriously ‘‘compromised livelihood and habitation rights’’. Not everyone is apprehensive, however, about the new regulation. Builders and real estate 3
For more details, see: http://www.moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/FAQ-CRZ.pdf.
MoEF 6 Jan 2011, Times of India 8th Jan. 2011.
Sridhar UNDP (2005).
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developers are viewing it as a positive step. But the fishing communities along the 7500-km long coastline are distressed, especially as many of their inputs were not included in the notification; environmentalists fear that unchecked development of coastal zones will destroy precious natural buffers and biodiversity (Table 1).
3 Violations of CRZ Notification in Maharashtra and Mumbai Using development rhetoric, the state has permitted various kinds of projects in the coastal areas of Maharashtra. These include power plants, amusement parks, a sea-link bridge, an airport, several harbors and ports, and a chemical industries zone. These activities contribute to pollution, encroach upon fishing areas, and displace fisher communities in almost the entire stretch of the coastal belt of Maharashtra. Details of some major projects that have come up on violation of coastal regulation norms are given below: • The EsselWorld Amusement Park at Gorai in Mumbai This project has destroyed 700 acres of mangrove fields by spraying chemicals in Gorai village in Mumbai. The company is trying to reclaim the mangrove fields in the CRZ I, to which fisher people have enjoyed traditional and customary access, and local fishers are prevented from fishing in the area. The Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti (an organization of fish workers in the state) and the National Fish workers Forum have been agitating against this company through blockades and strikes and have asked the company to vacate the 700 acres of mangrove fields, and pleaded to be allowed to fish in proximate areas. It is estimated that five hundred Koli fishing households are affected through loss of livelihood in this case. • Thermal Power Plant at Dahanu This project has reclaimed vast wetland of more than 1000 acres for construction of the plant and dumping of ash. Around 1000 fisherfolk, who fish in the wetlands at high and low tides, are affected by this project. Ash dumping pollutes the coastal waters, and several species of fishes have disappeared, further affecting fisher livelihoods. • Bandra-Worli sea-link bridge in Mumbai For this project, 70 acres of estuary area of the Mithi River at Mahim have been reclaimed. Fishermen of the area who were picking clams, oysters, crabs, and creek fish during high and low tides have been Table 1 Positive and negative aspects of CRZ Notification 2011 Positive aspects of CRZ 2011
Imposes restrictions on activities in the coastal zone Prohibits setting up of new (or expansion of existing) industries as well as units for power generation Flow of untreated wastes and effluents into the coastal ecology and water bodies are prohibited Construction activities in CRZ I area are prohibited Provision for construction of jetties, dispensaries, schools, public rain shelters, community toilets, bridges, roads and provision of facility of water supply, drainage and sewerage for local communities
Allows non-polluting industries such as industrial technology (IT) services as part of special economic zones (SEZ) Foreshore facilities for thermal power plants are allowed In SEZ areas, beach resorts and recreational facilities are permitted CRZ 2011 seems to favor the interests of real estate lobby, tourism, infrastructure sector, and industries, rather than the fishing community Notification is badly structured and organized; difficult for common people to understand (Panigrahi and Mohanty 2012)
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displaced, and the coastal ecosystem has been greatly damaged affecting both the catch, and access for fishing boats. This marks a clear violation of the traditional and customary rights of the fisher people. The Tarapur–Mahad–Parashram–Lote chemical industrial zone Large-scale pollution of the river, creek, and sea has been observed affecting fishing grounds and drinking water wells in fisher villages. Bombay High oil wells in the deep sea: The digging of wells for oil by the Government of India in the deep seas has encroached on several fishing grounds, in addition to polluting the sea, and affecting fish catch. Industrial fishing vessels in the deep sea, the Enron power project, and the mega-airport at Rewas-Mandawa are other examples of environmentally destructive projects which simultaneously affect fisher livelihoods and habitats. The Nagothana-Vadhavan mega-harbor in North Maharashtra and tourism and aquaculture projects are also affecting the coastal ecosystem, marine environment, and fish resources (Chouhan et al. 2015).
In view of such large-scale encroachments and violations, fisher people are quite disturbed at the ways in which protective environmental legislation such as those relating to CRZ are being undermined with detrimental consequences for their lives, livelihoods, and dependent ecosystems. One of their leaders narrated the outcome of urban development projects thus: ‘‘this model of development does not benefit the fishermen in any way, but creates uncertainties for their survival and livelihood. For the protection of the coastal ecosystem, and the management of fish resources, community rights over the water bodies should be entrusted with the local fisher folk’’ (Patil 2001). With reduced oxygen levels and high levels of pollution affecting marine life in locations such as Bandra and Mahim creek. Monsoon fishing as a source of livelihood and income supplement in the traditionally lean months have been affected. Fishers practice a ban on fishing in the sea during the monsoon as it is the breeding season, and the practice ensures a sustainable supply of fish. At Versova, dead fish are being washed ashore because of untreated effluents polluting the water. Outside the city, fisher people have gone to battle over projects ranging from five star hotels (Velaghar Beach), commercial complexes (Andheri), huge port facilities for foreign vessels and trawlers (Vadhavan), and a thermal power station (Kelve). In Alibag, a popular weekend getaway for the city’s middle-class and elite, fourteen Koli villages are threatened with displacement due to tourist, real estate, and other impending projects (IGIDR 2006). At present, there are more than 27 Koliwadas and more than 88 Gaothans in greater Mumbai. Among them, more than 16 Koliwadas and 23 Gaothans are CRZ affected.6 Most are located on the seashore or coastal zones. Although each Koliwada is unique, they share common characteristics and problems. Pollution, lack of basic amenities, declining catch, increasing costs, inadequate housing and space for trade related activities are issues, have affected most Koli families (Warhaft 2001). On the other side, there is also encroachment by migrants and CRZ violations in fisher villages. Thus, the main problems affecting CRZ areas in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) coastal region include land use pattern, residential and industrial water supply and waste disposal, transportation-related air, soil and noise pollution, coastal marine pollution, and depletion of important coastal habitats like wetlands and mangroves (Vijay et al. 2005). Parts of the coastal zone of MMR have also 6
Researcher collected information from BMC Record 2012, provided by Assistant Engineer, in the month of May 2012.
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become increasingly susceptible to human-induced environmental stresses and ecological damage by natural geophysical factors such as erosion, siltation, and coastal flooding in part due to climatic change. The waste generation and disposal pressures due to domestic and industrial activities have further contributed to the deterioration of coastal marine water quality and coastal fisheries (Singh and Somvansi 2004). It is necessary to assess the status of various sectors that are associated with these problems before deciding appropriate strategies to address them through Integrated Coastal Management (IACM) measures.
4 Coastal management and CRZ violations (fieldwork) in Mumbai The MMR coastal region is the economic and industrial capital of India with around 9000 industries ranging from chemicals, fertilizers, iron and steel, oil refineries, and thermal power located here. Industrial pollution in the MMR has not been fully assessed, but the main sources are gaseous emissions, solid and liquid wastes, and toxic and hazardous wastes (Murthy et al. 2010). The Koli fishing community, the vast majority of whom practice small-scale artisanal fishing, are implicated in a developmental regime, wherein the state and central governments authorize and support gigantic projects which have continuously affected their resource base. Marine pollution comprising industrial and domestic loads as well as hydrocarbons and tar deposits has spoilt of most of the beaches and coastal waters around Mumbai. Mangroves are an important component of the coastal ecosystem that keeps the shoreline intact against tidal currents by preventing soil erosion. They also provide habitat for several wildlife marine species, including birds, shrimps, and fishes (Murthy et al. 2010). Parthasarathy notes that during the 2005 floods, mangroves and salt pans in the eastern suburbs mitigated the scale of disaster. Destruction of mangroves was a key element of flooding in the Western Suburbs. Density of mangroves is important to accrue ecological and environmental benefits, but these have been under constant threat from development incursions in the city7 (Parthasarathy 2011). Unplanned development, and high population density, imposes severe restrictions on resources and leads to conflicts among different stakeholders (Warhaft 2001). These problems are further exacerbated by: (a) the use of wetlands and mangroves for land development with negative impact on port management, damages due to coastal erosion and effects on fishery resources, (b) waste disposal activities affecting the coastal water quality, fisheries, recreation, and tourism, (c) unplanned land reclamation procedures leading to the loss of tidal flushing resulting in polluted beaches. Thus, coastal problems cannot be managed successfully as separate issues, such as pollution or wetland loss or fisheries depletion. These issues are all interrelated and need to be addressed as such (Murthy et al. 2010). In order to therefore understand the larger implications and consequences, as well as contributing factors to the scenario and outcomes described above, research was conducted in the MMR using structured and unstructured interviews, observation, and focus group discussions (FGD’s). Affected locations in the region were identified for case studies of areas affected by encroachments on coastal spaces; the main focus was on impact of CRZ violations on small-scale fishery and their impacts on fishing livelihoods and environment. The areas selected include Badhwar Park, Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Chimbai Koliwada, Thane–Mulund creek, and Sewri, and CRZ violations have been observed in all these 7
The term ‘‘development’’ is widely used by urban planners and builders as an abbreviation for real estate development. In other words, for developing a built environment.
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areas. During site visits, interviews were conducted with officials and members of fisher cooperative societies, community leaders, environmental activists, NGO personnel, and researchers in the field. Table identifies the research areas, specifies the CRZ category under which each site falls, and provides a brief outline of the nature of CRZ violations in these sites (Table 2).
4.1 CRZ violations in Badhwar Park, Cuffe Parade Before 1965, the Badhwar Park, Cuffe Parade area was under the seawater where the fishing community was engaged in small fish catching. This is where they caught their fish and did their related activities of fish catching such as weaving nets and drying the fish. However, they resided at Azad Nagar, Sudan Zopadi, and Jamshedji Bandar in the Colaba area. In the year of 1965–1966, the government began reclaiming this area for the constructing residential and commercial buildings for the rich. The fishing community Table 2 CRZ categories, features, and their location in Mumbai CRZ categories and features
Research areas in Mumbai
CRZ violations in brief
CRZ I—ecological sensitive area, declared as ‘‘No Development Zone’’ (NDZ); contains national parks/marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wildlife habitats, mangroves, corals/coral reefs, close to breeding and spawning grounds of fish and other marine life, rich genetic biodiversity; constitutes low and high tide line as defined in the CRZ Notification
Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Thane– Mulund creek, Sewri
Encroachment by non-fisher migrants leading to pollution and restricted access to open spaces used by fishers. Restricted space for jetty, boat, and net repair, drying of fish, etc. and other fishing-related activities. In Thane–Mulund creek, 137 acre of marine ecology destroyed for construction of SEZ even though SEZs are not allowed in CRZ I area. In Sewri, there is violation by the Bombay Port Trust (BPT) for storing coal in the seashore, due to which fish breeding has been affected
CRZ II—areas already developed up to or close to the shoreline; developed areas refer to substantially built-up urban areas and are provided with drainage, approach roads and other infrastructural facilities such as water supply and sewerage mains. Up to 500 m from the coastline
Badhwar Park, Colaba Koliwada, Bhandup Village, Chimbai Koliwada
Chimbai Koliwada is under severe pressure from real estate developers. Constructions have violated the floor space index (FSI) norms imposing pressure on fragile ecologies in CRZ areas. Fisher spaces used for fish market, and other activities have been encroached upon
CRZ III—this zone refers to undisturbed areas, and rural areas (developed and undeveloped); areas within the municipal limits or in other legally designated areas which are not substantially built up; Gaothans and Koliwadas
Some Koliwadas and Gaothans in the MMR come under CRZ III. Sion Koliwada, Mahim Koliwada, Dharavi Koliwada, Worli Koliwada, ect.
Encroachment by non-fisher migrants, restricted space for fishing-related activities
Source: Sridhar UNDP (2005)
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consisting of 200–250 affected families protested this reclamation as it took away the sole means of their daily livelihood. The present day Nariman Point, Oberoi Hotel, and other posh residential areas have supplanted the fishing area since 1973. As part of the protest, the dependent families shifted their residence here to put an end to the further reclamation. Initially, the entire residents of the Colaba area that is the 200–250 families to Cuffe Parade. However, the number of the families increased and by 2011 more than 1500 families reside in this area; among them, 80 percent are totally dependent on fish catching even today.
4.2 CRZ violation in 134 acres of land in the Thane Creek in Mulund–Thane belt The Mulund–Thane belt falls under CRZ I. However, there is a dispute presently as to whether it belongs to CRZ I or CRZ III. The dispute arose around 2005 as a SEZ was earmarked on a 134 acre mangrove belt between Mulund and Thane. According to CRZ 1991 and 2011, a SEZ is not allowed on a CRZ I area. The proposed land for the SEZ project is barely 200 m off the Thane Creek. It was surrounded by a thick cover of mangroves on three sides, some of which have been cleared for construction of the SEZ. Intertidal waters can be seen in and around the plot. Thane and Mahim creeks are probably the most polluted locations. Mahim bay and Thane creek were once bestowed with good fisheries, flourishing oyster beds, and lush fringing mangroves. Due to the recent industrial and domestic activities and high pollution concentrations, fisheries are nonexistent. Massive increase in benthic productivity and depletion of coastal biodiversity shows the damage done by pollution to the coastal environment. Thane creek exhibited low values of dissolved oxygen and that has further destroyed the marine flora and fauna.8
4.3 CRZ violation in Chimbai Koliwada The Chimbai Koliwada beach that is part of CRZ I is a 1-km stretch between Joggers’ Park and Bandra Bandstand. The fishing community forms around 80 % of the existing population. They are mostly small-scale fishers who have been involved in subsistence fishing for many decades. The prime location of the Chimbai beach and its water front possibilities is attracting many builders to the area. A number of legal and illegal constructions have come up on the beach in the last decade. According to local fishermen, Suresh Chimbaikar of Chimbai village,9 these builders and their construction process have severely violated the CRZ norms. The community has been fighting against such rampant illegal constructions for several years now. The BMC and the District Collector apportion blame for these illegalities and violations on each other. In addition to the construction, the debris from the construction sites is dumped near the seashore. Encroachments have increased over these years. In addition, fisherfolk are also resisting a state-supported beautification plan for area with an aim to improve its environmental conditions, but in reality encroaching on the fishing village and creating amenities for non-fisher residents of the city.
Information collected by local fishermen Mr. Pawar. From Bhandup Village Mumbai.
Interview of fish workers in Chimbai village, on May 9th, 2012.
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4.4 CRZ violation in Sewri Creek Sewri area (popularly/commonly known as Shivdi) is a small hamlet on the eastern shore of Mumbai. It comes under CRZ I because of its mangrove cover. The fishing community in these parts has been staying here since the colonial period dependent on small fishing as a livelihood. According to local respondents, the state government after independence reclaimed this area for the Bombay Port Trust. Currently large parts of Sewri belong to the Bombay Port Trust along with harbor facilities. The mangrove swamps of Sewri were declared a protected ecology, as the Sewri Mangrove Park by the BPT on January 15, 1996. This park consists of 15 acres of mangroves in the mudflats between Sewri and Trombay. These mudflats are near the Sewri jetty which is a 20-min walk from the Sewri railway station on the harbor line. The area is of ecological importance as flamingoes from other parts of India come to these mangroves to breed. They arrive at the mudflats from the months between October and March every year. BPT has taken a number of measures to protect the area ecologically. In 1995, the BPT had undertaken to protect this area from any new construction or dredging activity. It had also declared its intention to influence the chemical industries along the coastline to check air and water pollution by reinforcing effluent control measures. The Trust further planned to protect the park from residents of nearby areas who cut down trees for fuel, as well as from real estate developers who indulged in sand mining, thereby weakening the grip of anchor roots. In all these activities, the BPT was more successful than was expected. However, more than a decade later, from 2007, this wetland habitat is in danger of being wiped out by the planned Mumbai-Nava Sheva road link. In recent years, a lot of construction activity has been taking place in this area due to opening up of mill lands and the Mumbai Port Trust area. The Sewri-Nhava Sheva Trans Harbour Link, which is being planned by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in this area, threatens the habitat of the migratory flamingoes. Dumping of coal on coastal belt affects the fish species, fisher livelihoods, and dependent ecosystems. In the next section, the manifold impacts of pollution, encroachment, and development activities in the above sites are described in more detail to elaborate their consequences for fisher livelihoods and dependent ecosystems.
5 Multiple impacts of pollution, encroachment, beautification, and CRZ violations on fishing livelihoods Fishers in the sites surveyed revealed a number of specific links between developmentsrelated impacts and their livelihoods, resulting from pollution of coastal ecologies, encroachment, and displacement.
5.1 Pollution (a)
The increased dumping of plastics, household and industrial wastes, and chemical effluents are leading to a drastic decline in fish species and declining catch in all of the areas surveyed. Due to these impacts, small fish workers are forced into the deep sea up to 10 nautical miles on small boats for fishing. Since they cannot go deeper into the sea, they face both competition with trawler fishing and the declining catch
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closer to the shores. Their smaller nets often get entangled with the bigger trawler and purse seine nets which damage their nets, resulting in further financial costs. In the Thane–Mulund Creek, the main reasons for coastal pollution are industrial construction and mixing of storm water and sewerage pipeline both of which let effluents into coastal zones, destroying mangroves which are an importing spawning ground for fish, and protect coastal ecologies. A large number of industries let untreated effluents flow into coastal creeks, backwaters, streams, and drains which are part of the estuarine system. This has led to health hazards and breeding of mosquitoes. A fish worker complained that ‘‘now it is mosquitoes that are multiplying not fish’’. In Sewri Creek, the discharge from the BPT includes coal and oil which are directly dumped into the sea. Due to this, mangroves are drying up and gradually dying. To protect the mangroves from extinction, the local fishers have attempted to restore the mangrove ecosystem. Due to gradual destruction of the mangrove ecosystem, the ecology of the coastal area is drastically affected. Mangroves are nurseries for marine life; they provide food for wetland birds and mammals. They filter toxins like heavy metals and prevent its entry to the food chain. Hence, they are important for fish breeding. The leaves of mangroves are food for small fishes and for crustaceans that are also an important source of livelihood. Hence, degradation of mangroves directly affects species health and thus fisheries-based livelihoods (Chouhan et al. 2015).
5.2 Depletion and decline of fish population and species (a)
Coastal pollution is one of the main reasons for the extinction of fish in Mumbai’s coastal regions. In Mulund–Thane creek, many varieties of fish are no longer to be found in big quantities. These include Jitadi (Sneeper), Chimbori (Crabs), Small sine (Sins), Karpal (Tiger pounds), and Boi (silver fish). Some species of fishes such as the Kullim has totally disappeared. In Chimbai Koliwada, also several fish species are declining. The lesser number of fishing boats in the villages and the lesser quantity of fish catch are an indication that fishing as an occupation is no more profitable in this area. According to local fishers, each fishing family used to own 2–3 boats. However, now the number of boats has decreased to 1 per household, resulting in lower catch. Landing grounds have also been encroached upon, and they are increasingly finding it difficult to carry out fishing operations. Fish workers also complain that big fishes such as Lekhru, Tamb, and Prawns which were part of their catch earlier are on the decline. The number of days when fishers have to return empty handed from fishing trips are on the increase. In Sewri Creek, fishers used to catch a wide variety of species such as Boi, Bangda, Tarla, Tingala, Pale, Sewad, Kolambi, Pamplet, Goli, Rawas, Toli, and Wam. Most of these species have disappeared, and fishers are reduced to catching crustaceans such as crabs, or forced to go for deep sea fishing on their small boats.
5.3 Encroachment In Sewri Creek, the port trust activities and other construction-related encroachment as well as the Sewri-Nhava Sheva Trans Harbour Link have disturbed fisheries by taking away landing grounds, fishing zones, and common areas used for fisheries. Access to their
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villages and to land and water for fishing-related activities is greatly restricted due to a number of projects and encroachments—both legal and illegal.
5.4 Beautification In many fishing villages, new middle-class and elite urban activism has steadily increased the number of beautification projects in the coastal commons. Land used for parking boats, as landing grounds, for drying fish, repairing nets, and for fish markets has been taken over by citizen groups such as Advanced Legislative Management Societies (ALMS) and the municipal corporation as part of several beautification projects. The Jogger’s Park in Bandra has been taken over for such purposes, and there appears to be a clear agenda to drive the fishing population out of Chimbai Koliwada. Fishers in the area claim that their access to the foreshore areas would be greatly restricted if such projects are allowed to come up. Indeed, some parts of the coastal commons used by local fisherfolk have already been taken over for such middle class led ‘‘bourgeois environmentalism’’ projects (Baviskar 2005).
6 Fishing communities, livelihoods, and conservation Historically, artisanal fishing has been practiced in a sustainable manner, both in terms of conservation of marine resources and in terms of conservation of coastal ecosystems. This is so for several reasons: • The practice of a monsoon ban on fishing provides a period for fish breeding, ensuring a healthy stock for the subsequent season. • Mangroves are recognized as spaces where fish spawn and hence are protected; only dried and fallen species of trees are taken for fuel wood. • The use of small boats and prevention of other commercial and residential activities ensured little or no coastal pollution. • There was no pressure to overexploit coastal natural resources, and hence coastal ecosystems were conserved. In view of the above, it is essential that protection of artisanal fishing as a livelihood option is closely tied to environmental conservation and better implementation of CRZ rules. The protection of mangroves is especially imperative as mangrove forests are among the most productive terrestrial ecosystems and constitute a natural and renewable resource. Mangroves act as a buffer zone between the land and sea, providing flood protection services, and prevent ingress of seawater during high tide. Mangroves also protect against coastal erosion and ensure the health of coral reefs, apart from enhancing biodiversity. Since mangrove water levels are shallow, and due to other conducive features, they are ideal places for growing of sea algae and for spawning of fish and other marine species. Mangroves are breeding, feeding, and nursery grounds for many estuarine and marine organisms. They also provide significant ecosystem services by absorbing and treating impurities and harmful heavy metals.10
10 Documentation and information collected from Mr. D. Stalin (Project Director of Vanashakti Organization). See more details: http://www.vanashakti.in/.
Urban development, environmental vulnerability and CRZ…
It thus becomes evident that proper implementation of CRZ rules is crucial for the ensuring the health of coastal ecosystems. However, it is seen that the state level MCZMA has been lax on several levels in this regard. The state level MCZMA was constituted by the MoEF under EPA, 1986. The authority has the power to adopt and implement necessary measures for protecting and improving the quality of the coastal environment and preventing, abating, and controlling environmental pollution in the coastal areas. A key requirement to enable the MCZMA to carry out its mandated functions is an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP). The complex impacts of encroachments, environmental degradation, pollution, and biodiversity loss in a context where these zones are the basis for livelihoods for thousands of fishers, creates a context for effective development and implementation of an ICZMP. Due to the complex nature of human activity along the coast, a holistic all-encompassing approach is needed for coastal zone management. However, the functioning of the MCZMA leaves much to be desired. In 2009, there were 24 complaints registered against CRZ violation in Maharashtra, but the MCZMA has only issued letters to such violators. No action has been taken against any of these agencies. In 2010, there were 42 complaints registered, of which only 10 complaints are under directive process, and the rest were only issued letters of clarification and show cause. In 2011, 99 complaints were registered against CRZ violations, of which in only 3 complaints work stoppage was effected. The MCZMA has written to the Municipal Commissioner on the matter of identifying Koliwadas in Mumbai for making an ICZMP with participation of the local community on April 2011. However, till date the preparation of detailed maps for CZ identification and implementation, the ICZMP itself has not been completed. Clearly, there is much apathy with respect to the functioning and implementation of coastal management and regulation plans, norms, and laws in the Mumbai region, which aid and abet rampant violation of CRZ rules, and continuous encroachments on the coastal commons severely affecting the environment and fisher livelihoods.
7 Conclusion There is considerable debate over the CRZ with the environmental concern and livelihood security of fishing communities in India in general and the Mumbai region in particular. The CRZ Notification was published with the intention of bringing a balance between infrastructure development, preservation of ecosystems and to ensure livelihood security for the coastal fishing community. However, from the very beginning, the enforcement agencies have been quite apathetic in implementing the CRZ rules. One of the major criticisms leveled against the CRZ Notification is that largely and deliberately ignores public participation, and thereby neglects local (coastal) context and issues. In the case of Maharashtra, it may be observed that the state coastal authority tasked with CRZ implementation (MCZMA) has not taken the implementation of the notification seriously. Hence, the failure of the CRZ is because of the unwillingness of the government to enforce it. In fact, the MCZMA has not even completed mapping of all CRZ areas in the state as mandated by the CRZ Notification of 2011. Fisheries ecosystem is destroyed by large-scale commercial fishing and their destructive technologies. Modernization and commercial overfishing in India have marginalized, impoverished, or simply wiped out many artisanal fishing communities. The resultant process of marginalization and the loss of livelihood among the artisanal fishing
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communities have turned them into ‘‘ecological refugees11.’’ However, it is striking to note the total absence of any effectual policies measure as well to address such concerns. India’s artisanal fisher people have been disaffected and displaced by capitalist development, which has served only to further impoverish them (Warhaft 2001). The state has not demarcated any limits for big trawler fishing, which are destroying the nets of small fish workers. The main focus of environmentalists in India has been to save or preserve biodiversity of coastal area rather than livelihood of dependent people in coastal areas. Such an approach fails to consider the interlinkages between coastal livelihoods and environmental conservation. Fisher communities manage coastal zones in a sustainable manner as it is an essential source of livelihood. Conservation of biological diversity is a common concern and is integral for the addressing problems of development, disaster mitigation, and environmental conservation. This lack of concern for dependent communities is leading to growing commercial exploitation, reduction in the loss of biodiversity, continued alienation of indigenous communities, and the creation of administrative, policy and legal measures which remain paper tigers (Wani and Taraporvala 2012). It also has implications for local participation in biodiversity and mangrove sustainability issues, due to which local champions for environmental causes are absent on the ground, and conservation remains an elite or middle-class motivation. The indigenous fishing community, which is totally dependent on fisheries-related activities, is marginalized due to market forces and state policies promoting encroachment in coastal zones (Warhaft 2001), leading to ecological degradation and livelihood losses. Increasing encroachment leads to scarcity of land (Parthasarathy 2011) and pushes out the Koli fishing communities out of fisheries-related livelihoods (Ranade 2008). There is a need to have an effective Coastal Zone Management committee which will better represent the interests, perspectives, and knowledge of the local fisher community. The new CRZ Notification of 2011 is well intentioned, but faces the problem of poor implementation and lack of political and administrative will. Coastal problems cannot be managed successfully as separate issues or as a single issue, such as pollution or wetland loss or fisheries depletion as these problems are interrelated. A centralized establishment specializing in coastal and marine affairs whose function would be to oversee the ongoing coastal activities and would coordinate between these agencies is a necessary step in order to ensure biodiversity protection, and further deterioration of Mumbai’s sensitive coastal ecological system as well as marginalization of the livelihoods of the fishing communities. However, such an institution must ensure better cross-scale and cross-institutional linkages to address, problems of diversity, differential needs of environmental management and coastal livelihood sustainability.
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The term coined by Guha and Gadgil (1995).
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