Capacity building of people near shore, surveying of coastline

Last Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 18:14

New Delhi: In a first-ever exercise, the
country`s 7500-km-long coastline will be surveyed to demarcate
areas vulnerable to sea erosion, high tide and waves in order
to help government take measures in protecting community
living in such pockets.

The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) today
approved a Rs 1,156-crore Integrated Coastal Zone Management
(ICZM) project which among other things cover coastline
survey, capacity building of the people living near to coast,
expand their livelihood opportunities and demarcation of
sensitive and hazardous zones.

The project has a special component for surveying the
coastline touching eight states from Gujarat to West Bengal
for which a sum of Rs 125 crore has been earmarked.

"The ICZM project will aim at capacity building of
community living near to coast, mapping and demarcation of
hazard lines, wetland conservation activities, pollution
control and anti-sea erosion measures," Environment Minister
Jairam Ramesh told reporters here.

The Survey of India will undertake the extensive
exercise in hazard mapping along the 7,500-km coastline, which
is being done for the first time, he said. The survey will
assist in protecting coastal communities and infrastructure
located in coastal areas, he said.

The survey of the coastline will show those areas
which are vulnerable to erosion, high tide and wave. People
living on the wrong side of the hazard line will be sensitised
on the risk aspects and may be relocated to safer areas in
extreme situations, Ramesh said.

"The survey will have four factors -- shoreline
change, tides, waves and sea level rise. Aerial photography
and satellite data will be used to draw the hazard line," he
said.

Drawing hazard line is important in view of threats
posed by climate change which leads to sea level rise and
erosion of coast.

Areas under threats of high tides, waves and natural
disasters could be identified. Nearly six core people are
living near to the coast.

The ICZM project will have special focus on
identification and demarcation of coastal fragile areas like
mangroves, brackish water wetlands and coral reefs based on
which a new category of "Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas"
would be designated.

These would include areas around Lakshadweep, Andaman
and Nicobar Islands, Gulf of Khambat in Gujarat, Malvan,
Vasasi-Manori, Achra-Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and
Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Bhaitarkanika and
Chilika in Orissa, Coringa, East Godavari and Krishna in
Andhra Pradesh, Sunderban in West Bengal, Pichawaram and Gulf
of Mannar in Tamil Nadu.

Ramesh said the project include setting up a National
Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) at Anna
University in Chennai at a cost of Rs 166 crore.

"This will be the main centre for extension work for
coastal zone management. It will focus on economic activities
in coastal zone and suggest economic activities for the
inhabitants in such areas," he said.

This project is to be implemented over the next five
years by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The World
Bank`s contribution as soft loan is around Rs 897 crore,
Ramesh said.

This ICZM project assumes special significance in the
context of climate change since one of IPCC`s findings relates
to the increase in mean sea levels as a result of global
warming.

The project earmarks Rs 356 crore for mapping,
delineation and demarcation of the hazard lines and
delineation of the coastal sediment cells along the mainland
coast of India, demarcation of environmentally-sensitive
areas, setting up of NCSCM and a nationwide training programme
for coastal zone management.

Capacity building activities like construction of
embankment, diversification of livelihood, sewage treatment
and pollution control will be carried out along the Gulf of
Kutch and in Jamnagar District in Gujarat at an investment of
Rs 298 crore.

Wetland conservation activities will be undertaken in
two stretches of the Orissa coast -- Gopalpur-Chilika and
Paradip-Dhamra -- at a cost of Rs 201 crore.

Similar activities will be carried out in Sunderban,
Haldia and Digha-Shankarpur regions of West Bengal at a cost
of Rs 300 crore, Ramesh said.

The project would develop institutions to effectively
implement the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) Notification 1991,
to control pollution of coastal waters and expand livelihood
options.

While direct beneficiaries of the project is estimated
to be around 15 lakh, the number of indirect beneficiaries
will be close to six crore, he said.

"Orissa, West Bengal and Gujarat have been included in
the first phase of the project. Later the remaining coastal
states will be covered under it," he said.

The Asian Development Bank is supporting a less
comprehensive shoreline management project in Karnataka,
Maharashtra and Goa, he said.

This is the second World Bank assisted project of the
Environment Ministry.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 18:14

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