New Delhi: The Gulfs of Kambhat and Kutch in Gujarat show very high indices to multi-hazard coastal vulnerability, according to mapping carried out by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), the government on Thursday said.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan said Hyderabad-based INCOIS and Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM), Chennai carried out mapping and demarcating of multi-hazard coastal vulnerability for states.
"The relative vulnerability of different coastal environment is essentially quantified at a regional to national scale using basic information on seven risk variables, viz. Shoreline change rate, sea-level change rate, coastal slope, mean significant wave height, mean tidal range, coastal regional elevation and coastal geomorphology," Harsh Vardhan said.
"The general trend in the vulnerability, demarcated in to four classes (very high, high, medium and low), carried out first time on macro-synoptic scales (at 1:1,00,000) covering the entire Indian coastline suggest varied degrees of vulnerability along coastal states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala, Maharastra, Goa, Gujarat and islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
"The Gulfs of Kambhat and Kutch in Gujarat show very high vulnerability indices, with the inlets of Kutch show localised vulnerability," he added.
The study noted that coastal vulnerability aspects at a much local (micro) level were accounted with additional parameters such as cyclone, storm surge and coastal flooding.
Relatively low vulnerability indices were reported along the zones of mangroves that help in breaking the large amplitude waves, dissipating the energy and hence act as a natural barrier.
"In Andhra Pradesh, the coast of Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizainagaram and Shrikakulam district were classified as medium to high vulnerable class. In general southern parts of Andhra Pradesh are more vulnerable when compared to northern parts," the minister added.
Responding to another question about Indian prisoners including fishermen languishing in Pakistani jails, Singh said that according to the list provided by the Pakistani authorities on July 1 under the bilateral Consular Access Agreement, there are 48 civil prisoners and 247 fishermen believed to be Indians in Pakistani jails.
"Out of the 48 civil prisoners, the Indian nationality status in respect of 24 civil prisoners has been confirmed. The other 24 civil prisoners are mentally challenged. Of the 247 fishermen, the Indian nationality status in respect of 210 fishermen has been confirmed so far while one fishermen was not found to be Indian during the verification.
"Nationality status confirmation is under process in respect of the remaining 36 fishermen. Since the mentally challenged prisoners were not able to provide details about themselves during consular access, their available details (names along with their photographs) have been placed on the website of the High Commission of India, Islamabad to help in their expeditious identification," the minister said.
He said that the government regularly takes up with the Pakistan authorities the issue of early release and repatriation of all such prisoners as well as providing regular consular access to them.
He added that India is also monitoring the status of all Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails and the India- Pakistan Judicial Committee consisting of retired judges from both countries visits jail in both the countries to ensure human treatment and expeditious release of prisoners including fishermen, who have completed their prison term.
"Due to government's efforts, 390 fishermen were released by Pakistan by 2013 and 150 fishermen were released by Pakistan in 2014 so far," the minister in reply to another question.