Cabinet gives nod to Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project

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New Delhi, Mar 25 (ANI): The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a Rs.1156 crore World Bank assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Project.

This project is to be implemented over the next five years by the Union Environment and Forests Ministry.

The World Bank's contribution as soft loan/IDA credit is around Rs. 897 crore (78 percent).

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

National ICZM capacity-building at a total investment of about Rs.356 crore which will cover --mapping, delineation and demarcation of the hazard lines and delineation of the coastal sediment cells along the mainland coast of India; mapping, delineation and demarcation of environmentally-sensitive areas that require protection.

As per the ICZM a National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management would be established at Anna University, Chennai.

The ICZM programme would also initiate a nation-wide training programme for coastal zone management.

As per the ICZM programmes activities would be initiated along the Gulf of Kachchh and in Jamnagar District in Gujarat at a total investment of around Rs.298 crore.

The ICZM would take up wetland conservation activities in two stretches of the Orissa coast-Gopalpur-Chilika; and Paradip-Dhamra at a total investment of Rs.201 crore.

The ICZM programme would initiate activities in Sunderban, Haldia and Digha-Shankarpur regions of West Bengal at a total investment of Rs.300 crore.

The project would develop capacity and institutions to effectively implement the CRZ Notification 1991, to control pollution of coastal waters and to expand livelihood options for coastal communities.

The elaborate and extensive exercise in hazard mapping along the 7500-km coastline, which is being done for the first time, by the Survey of India at cost of Rs.125 crore will greatly assist in protecting coastal communities and infrastructure located in coastal areas.

The total number of direct beneficiaries of the project is close to 15 lakhs, while the number of indirect but identifiable beneficiaries will be close to 6 crore. The initial set of three states have been selected on various grounds including pressure on coast, presence of critical ecosystems, risks of natural hazards, etc.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting a less comprehensive shoreline management project in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.

According to the Union Environment and Forests Ministry, the second phase of ICZM would take up the other coastal states with project preparation in all remaining coastal states commencing immediately.

Special focus in the project will be to identify and demarking of coastal fragile areas like mangroves, brackish water wetlands, coral reefs, etc.

Ministry said that based on this a new category of "Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas"(CVCAs) would be designated and appropriate management plans implemented for their preservation and regeneration.

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 etc.

This is the second World Bank assisted project of the Union Environment and Forests Ministry to be approved by the CCEA in the past two weeks.

The first was a Rs. 350 crore project for initiating the process of remediation, rehabilitation and restoration of contaminated hazardous waste and municipal solid waste dumpsites in the country.

There are over 120 such sites in different states and this project would be launched to clean-up two sites in Andhra Pradesh and eight in West Bengal to begin with, apart from to prepare a national plan for remediation and restoration of all legacy contaminated sites which have become public health hazards.(ANI)

|Anand Sharma stresses on need for higher investments in industrial sector |National[New Delhi{New Delhi, Mar 25 (ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said that higher investments are required in the industrial sector in order to generate more employment and livelihood so that the poor can be part of India's growth process.

Sharma expressed his views during a meeting with the Belgium Deputy Prime Minister Steven Vanackere.

He emphasized that it is important that the investment relationship between India and Belgium enters diversified sectors.

"We need to do more in different sectors like transport equipment, machine fabrication and high technology sectors in which Belgium has strength. India is slated to invest around 1.5 rillion US dollars in the coming 5 to 6 years in the infrastructure sector and we expect Belgium businesses to participate in this effort", Sharma said.

During the interaction, Vanackere informed that this was perhaps the most successful business interaction between Indian and Belgium businesses.

In the infrastructure area, he highlighted ports as an area in which Belgian companies are interested. (ANI)

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