Island Coastal Zone Regulation (ICRZ), 2019:
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has approved an exemption to the laws governing the regulation of coastal zones and has paved the way for gas-powered plants to be set up at Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- A 50 MW Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG)-based power project will be commissioned at Hope Town, Port Blair. It will be a dual-fuel power plant—that runs on both diesel and LNG.
- The plant will be developed by the National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC).
- Activists say, this permission violates the Island Coastal Zone Regulation (ICRZ), 2019, which limits infrastructure development on vulnerable coastal stretches.
- In 2019, the Government of India notified the Island Coastal Zone Regulation(ICRZ).
- It declared certain coastal stretches as ‘Coastal Regulation Zone’ and imposed restrictions on setting up and expanding industries, operations and processes within such protected zones.
- In 2021 National Coastal Zone Management Authority(NCZMA) recommended amending the ICRZ rules to allow gas-based power plants within the Island Coastal Regulation Zone area only in islands with geographical areas greater than 100 sq. km.
- This was needed to meet the energy requirement of the islanders while reducing the dependency on highly polluting sources such as conventional Diesel Generator(DG) sets.
- Accepting these recommendations, the Government of India amended the ICRZ rules.