New Delhi, Nov 27 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has directed all states and union territories to submit a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) to the Ministry of Environment and Forests before April 30 next year.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar warned the states and UT governments that if they failed to submit a plan, they would be liable for an exemplary cost of Rs 5 lakh which should be recovered from the salary of the defaulting officers concerned.

“Within three months thereafter, that is by July 31, 2018, the Environment Ministry shall issue approval in regard to the fixation of hazard line and CZMP for the respective state covering the entire coastal area. Now if the officers and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change commit a default, they shall also be liable to be proceeded against in accordance with the law,” the bench said.

The green panel also granted liberty to the Environment Ministry to approach the tribunal if any of the states defaulted.

“But the Ministry of Environment and Forests would not be permitted to contend non-cooperation from the states as the reason for delay, if any, in compliance of this deadline in this order,” it said.

The NGT had earlier said the authorities were primarily shuffling the blame between the states and the Centre, with the execution of the direction being “kept in abeyance” without any justifiable reason.

The direction came on a plea filed by one Mehdad and others seeking an expeditious framing of CZMP for different states and UTs such as Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu.

Coastal zone management involves managing coastal areas to balance environmental, economic, human health and related activities.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.