Tag Archives: Ministry of Environment and Forests

India to Map Its Coastal Hazard Line

The following is a press release prepared by the Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests (the spelling and grammatical mistakes made by the Press Bureau have been left intact):

India to Map Its Costal Hazard Line to Enhance Prepared Sec- Based Hazards Like Tsunami-Like Event

08-April-2011 14:7 IST

Stereo Digital Aerial Photography (SDAP) will be used to map the coastline of the country. The total cost involved for SDAP is Rs.27crores. The SDAP will cover the 11000km arc coastline from Gujarat to West Bengal with an area of 60,000sq kms. This initiative is a critical part towards the planned management of the country’s coastal zone. Under the World Bank assisted project, the hazard line for the mainland coast of India will be mapped, delineated and demarcated on the ground over a period of five years. This will include the collection and presentation of data, identifying flood lines over the last 40 years which includes sea level rise impacts, and a prediction of erosions to take place over the next 100 years.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has signed an agreement with the Survey of India , Department of Science and Technology, to map, delineate and demarcate the hazard line along India’s wide coastal belt. The Memorandum of Understanding for this project was signed on 12th May, 2010. The hazard line is a composite line of the shoreline changes including sea level rise due to climate change, tides and waves. The total cost of this survey is projected at Rs.125 crore.

For the purpose of SDAP, the Indian mainland coastline has been divided into eight blocks, namely, (1) from the Indo-Pakistan border to Somnath in Gujarat; (2) Somnath to Ulhas River in Maharashtra; (3) Ulhas River to Sharavathi River in Karnataka; (4) Sharavathi River to Cape Comoran in Tamil Nadu; (5) Cape Comoran to Ponniyur River in Tamil Nadu; (6) Ponniyur River to Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh; (7) Krishna River to Chhatrapur in Orissa; and (8) Chhatrapur to Indo-Bangladesh Border in West Bengal.

M/s IIC, Hyderabad in joint venture with M/s AAM Pty Limited, Australia was selected to undertake the project. The SDAP will be completed within an estimated fifteen months depending upon the weather. Based on this, maps will be prepared in 1:10,000scale and after ground verification, pillars will be erected demarcating the hazard line.


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Report of the Expert Committee on the Draft CMZ Notification

The report of the expert committee on the draft Coastal Management Zone notification, titled: Final Frontier, Agenda to protect the ecosystem and habitat of India’s coast for conservation and livelihood security, was delivered to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) on 16 July 2009.  The expert committee was chaired by M.S. Swaminathan and included Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences; J.M. Mauskar, Additional Secretary, MoEF, and Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

The full report can be viewed here.

The summary of the recommendations are:

  • Let the CMZ Notification, 2008 lapse and incorporate amendments as recommended in the existing CRZ Notification, 1991 for better coastal management.
  • Check violations to CRZ through improved space technology-enabled enforcement, strengthened institutions, and regulatory and legal reform.
  • Enhance protection to fishing communities and families for habitat and livelihood security through amendments in the CRZ Notification.
  • Resolve issues regarding the development and redevelopment of Mumbai, based on locale-specific amendments.
  • Introduce regulations to manage the proliferation of ports along the coasts with possible impacts on the coastline by considering cumulative impacts of these developments.
  • Introduce tighter standards for disposal of effluents into coastal waters so that these waters do not become cheaper alternatives to inland pollution management.
  • Introduce new management regimes in the Andaman and Nicobar as well as Lakshadweep Islands after deliberation and discussion.
  • Introduce any new protection regime – such as critically vulnerable coastal areas – after careful and deliberate understanding of the impact of conservation policies on local communities, particularly fisher families.
  • Strengthen protection to mangroves based on clear definitions.
  • Include the seaward side to ensure protection from current and future threats, but with safeguards to ensure there is no restriction to livelihoods of fishing communities.
  • Introduce measures to greatly strengthen research and regulatory capacity at all levels.
  • Introduce policies to cope with and adapt to the future dangers from sea level rise and increased vulnerability of the coasts.

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Saving India’s Beaches: Dr. Sunita Narain, CSE, on Moratorium on New Ports – NDTV Report

July 22, 2009

Dr. Sunita Narain, Director of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a member of an expert committee on coastal management (headed by M.S. Swaminathan and including Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences; and J.M. Mauskar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests), speaks about the acceptance by the Minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, of the recommendations by the expert committee for a moratorium on new port development in India pending a study on the cumulative effects of all the existing ports in India.

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Saving India’s Beaches: Jairam Ramesh’s Responses – NDTV Reports

June 22, 2009

In the report above, Jairam Ramesh, the Minister of Environment and Forest, declares his priority to ensure that the CMZ 2009 does not adversely affect the livelihood of fisher families as well as doing an inventory of port development.

July 7, 2009

In the video above, Vivekanandan, member of the South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), reports on his meeting with Jairam Ramesh.  In his meeting, the Minister has agreed that the CMZ, in it’s current form, will be allowed to lapse and a new process of dialogue with the fishing community will start, including 5 consultations across the coast (Chennai, Bhuvaneshwar, Cochin, Goa and Bombay) to provide feedback to help the ministry to re-work or improve the CRZ.

July 7, 2009

In the report above, NDTV interviews Jairam Ramesh and Probir Banerjee, President of PondyCAN.  Probir Banerjee speaks of the water and food security issues as a result of port and SEZ (Special Economic Zone) development.  Jairam Ramesh has commissioned a study of the overall, cumulative impacts of the port developments.

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Gujarat’s Mangroves Under Threat – NDTV Report

June 8, 2009

The fourth report on NDTV’s “India’s Dying Beaches” series covers the destruction of a mangrove forest at Mundra, the site of India’s largest private port and Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which covers 60 kilometres of Gujarat’s coastline.  10,000 fisherfolk have lost their livelihoods due to the privatization of coastal property for port and allied developments.

The report highlights the gradual dilution of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), first established in 1989, with 21 ammendments to date, to allow such things as the storage of liquid natural gas (LNG) and petrochemicals within 500 metres of the coastline.  Incredibly, the environmental clearance authority for ports was transfered from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to the Ministry of Surface Transport and Shipping – a clear conflict of interest!

The text of the report is found below:

Gujarat’s mangroves under threat
Tejas Mehta
Monday, June 08, 2009, (Mundra)

Gujarat, the state which has India’s longest coastline is home to one of the country’s largest ports and special economic zone. One which will occupy over 60 kms of the coast.

This is the stark reality of what is happening here in Gujarat, at one of India’s largest ports. Hundreds and hundreds of mangroves hacked with complete disregard and apathy in a zone that is high eco-sensitive and protected.

The strip of land was originally part of the port plan but later dropped because of mangroves. A crucial cover that protects the coast from erosion and storms.

An example of how much of the development on our coasts takes place haphazardly. Unlike in the West where port projects are based on environment studies and rights of coastal communities is respected.

Ironically, 20 years ago India came out with forward looking policy — the Coastal Regulation Zones or CRZs.

In 1989, CRZ was introduced before UN’s Climate Change Convention, but since then the CRZ policy has undergone 21 changes effectively diluting it.

So, now rural land 200 metre from the sea is no longer a no-development zone. Now, storage facilities for LNG and petrochemicals are allowed.

Then the environmental clearance authority for ports was transferred from the Ministry of Forests to the Ministry of Surface Transport and Shipping.

As a result regulator and regulated became one.

A conflict of interest ensued since the regulator and the regulated became the same. At Mundra port a top government official had warned against damage to the coast.

A 2006 report used satellite pictures to issue this warning:

The Adani Private Port at Mundra and other projects pose a threat to the neighbouring mangroves. Controversy regarding the gradual and smooth destruction of mangroves near Mundra was raised again and again. The industrial development.. has already caused serious damage and the process of degradation continues by intentional and unintentional approach of the industries,” wrote H S Singh, former Chief Conservator of Forests (Research), Gujarat.

“They first blocked the creek, stopped the water from flowing in. The mangroves died and they dumped dredged sand on it. Following which, they tell the government the land is ‘unsurveyed wasteland’, give it to us,” said Bharat Patel, Marine Environmentalist.

Allegations, the Adani group has denied in the past.

But the worst hit over 10,000 fishermen. Today with coastal belt sold to the port their livelihood is gone.

“We kill fish, we eat fish. Fish is our only source of livelihood. We want the sea and the shore. Nothing else,” said Haroon Siddique, fisherman.

“The industrialists are happy. But one day the government will have to think about us. We will fight till death. We won’t leave them,” said Ibrahim Majalia, fisherman.

Core of that battle perhaps, already lost.


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