The need to amend the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification to suit the needs of tourism industry was the main focus at the Knowledge Session on ‘West Coast Tourism – Synergy Between States’ held on Friday at the International Travel Mart – Goa.
Managing Director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Board, Kiran Kurundkar lamented that while Goa and Kerala has got some relaxation from the notification, other coastal states that did not promote coastal tourism are caught in a bind now.
Kiran Kurundkar made a very strong plea for other coastal states from the Western coast like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka along with Goa and Kerala to pitch for a re-consideration of the CRZ Notification from the tourism perspective.
Taking a similar line, Managing Director of Karnataka Tourism Development Board Vinay Luthra regretted that implementing the CRZ rules and regulations has become monotonous rather than going with the spirit of the notification.
While conceding that the Notification is aimed primarily at protecting coastal environment, he regretted that they are being adhered to in a ritualistic manner thereby causing problems for the tourism industry.
Interestingly, Gujarat government has decided to hand over 14 beaches in the state to private players to develop them as tourist destinations. Disclosing this, Senior Manager of Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd., Kingshuk Biswas said the government will only provide the basic infrastructure at these sites.
Besides, the Gujarat government is in the process of preparing its own ‘cruise tourism’ policy to attract cruise vessels besides planning circuits to link beaches with hinterland attractions like the Somnath Temple or the ‘lion sanctuary’.