THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Getting a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance from the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority seems to be a tough task. It is learnt that the authority, currently functioning under the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), has been unable to process applications within the stipulated timeframe owing to staff shortage. As per CRZ rules, the authority should grant CRZ clearance within two months. Till date, it has received over 3,000 applications from across the State.
The application processing has become super slow due to the lack of manpower for carrying out site inspections. It is learnt that the Government is yet to provide a dedicated office or staff for clearing building permit applications.
A senior scientist associated with the Coastal Zone Management Authority here said the shortage of staff was crippling its functioning. The Government launched the authority way back in 1999, but it failed to set up a dedicated mechanism for this.
“Lack of dedicated staff including technical officers, scientists and office personnel has been delaying the entire process. We need a minimum of three to four months to process a single application as the staff strength is too low. We need at least 14 members of staff including scientists and technical officers to do the job, which is currently being managed by two people at the KSCSTE. CRZ clearance had been made mandatory since 1999 and it was incorporated as a mandatory element in the Kerala Building Rules too. A separate mechanism is a must for the effective functioning of the authority,” said the official.
The official said that apart from the applications there were 200 cases relating to CRZ violations at various courts which the authority had been forced to deal with, with the limited staff strength....