Visakhapatnam: Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms have hit hard beach front tourism projects in Andhra Pradesh, with most of the investors not showing much interest in the co-astal areas of Vizag, East Godavari, West Goda-vari, Nellore and Srikakulam, despite the beautiful and potential coastline.
AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) officials said it was not so easy to get CRZ clearance from the Union government as environmentalists, fishermen and few others have been opposing these tourism projects.
The AP government had devised several projects, including leisure tourism, water sports, lighthouse tourism and few others with investments worth `15,000 to Rs 20,000 crore under Public Private Partner-ship (PPP) mode to promote beach tourism in the state along the 974-km coastline from Tada (Nellore district) to Ich-hapuram (Srikakulam district) in a big way.
During the investors’ meeting in Vizag, there was an overwhelming recommendation by the delegates from Mumbai, New Delhi and a few other areas in the country to relax CRZ norms and to create investor-friendly atmosphere to establish the beach tourism projects.
“Although some inve-stors have keen interest to invest in Vizag region due to its picturesque beaches surrounded by greenery hills, they hesitate due to current CRZ rules,” said director of AP Chamber of Commerce and Industry Federation M.V.N. Rao.
“As many as 33 investors from various parts of India, particularly from New Delhi and Mumbai attended the meeting and evinced interest, mostly in the hotel sector along coastal line. However, the flipside of the meeting was the investors made a strong pitch for relaxation of CRZ norms. We would put all the efforts to impress on the Union government the need to relax rules pertaining to CRZ in order to give fillip to beach front tourism along AP coastline,” said APTDC executive director R.S. Naidu.
“The current CRZ rules make it difficult to promote beach tourism and this has affected tourism activities in the state. Whenever an investor shows interest in beach tourism projects, environmental groups and social activists vehemently oppose the moves to dilute CRZ restrictions,” said an APTDC senior officer on condition of anonymity....