In May 2015, Swapnil Shukla and I, third year law students at the time, went to Bhadreshwar, Kutch as interns for the Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program. We had gone there to understand the work being done by the Enviro-Legal Coordinators (ELCs) and attempt to document the same. In order to do that, we sat with the individual ELCs and took notes while they narrated the kind of efforts they took to approach cases and the various highs and lows while attempting to secure remedies. Of the several cases we documented, a few pertained to the setting up of District Level Coastal Committees (DLCCs) along the coast of Gujarat. The first section of this publication focuses on how the ELCs in Gujarat were able to manage to activate these DLCCs.
After an enriching experience the first time around, the two of us wanted come back on board for a second time. This time around, in December 2015, we set off to document the cases in Uttar Kannada, Karnataka. For the purposes of documenting this set of cases, the attempt was to record not only the ELCs’ experience, but also that of the community partners. Several cases in Uttar Kannada concerned securing of clearance for either constructing or re-constructing houses in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) as per the CRZ Notification of 2011. How the ELCs were successful in securing these clearances and the various difficulties which they faced can be found in the second section of the publication.
The final section contains two stories which showcase the strength of legal empowerment from the perspective of the communities. @VidyaViswanathan, on a visit to Gujarat spoke to the two community partners and based on her interactions with them she penned down these two stories. The stories delve into the way in which legal empowerment has impacted the lives of the communities our ELCs have been working with.
All of the above has been collated and put together in the form of “Caring for the Coast: Building Regulatory Compliance through Community Action”, the newest publication by the CPR-Namati EJ team. It can be accessed at:
A big thank you to the whole team for their efforts and inputs at each and every stage of it’s making! We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed putting it together.