Serious attempts have been made to manage the highly populated Indian coast during the last 25 years in terms of regulating the activities and managing disasters. This has lead to formulation of various policies to maintain environmental quality and sustainably manage the coastal resources. Basically, the coastal zone needs to address the demands of all the stakeholders starting from traditional local communities, administrators, to academic researchers etc. India has faced tremendous challenges in implementing regulatory measures like Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) issued in 1991 by demarcating countries coast in to four different zones with provisions and prohibitions for various activities. The concept of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) has been taken with the support of spatial decision-support tools derived from satellite data including national programmes on inter-sectoral approaches towards ICZM. 2004 onwards a series of disasters have reminded the necessity of having regulatory measures through implementable approaches. Subsequently, the CRZ 2011 notification has been a new addition to the list of policies using bottom-up approach as a good governance tool. The country has strengthened its potential in coastal management, disaster management and several community based field projects to enhance participation of stakeholders. This paper is aimed to critically review the processes that are made during the last two decades including the future challenges towards sustainable management of coastal zone with special emphasis on the three coastal areas from eastern, western and southern coast of India.
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