Nod to restructuring of coastal zone management project

Bhubaneswar: Proposal for restructuring the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project, which is aimed at protecting and conserving the coastal environment, has been approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

In a meeting chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi yesterday, the CCEA gave its approval to the restructuring of the project, proposed by Union Environment ministry, which includes revising the cost estimate from Rs 1155.6 crore to Rs 1580.1 crore.

The restructuring will also include the extension of the project period from March 31, 2015, to December 31, 2017, and undertaking pre-project activities and preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs) for ICZM of 10 remaining coastal States and Union territories.

The CCEA had approved the project in March 2010 with a cost estimate of Rs 1155.63 crore for a period of five years, i.e. up to March 31, 2015. The project is being implemented with the assistance of World Bank.

There has been cost revision during the implementation of the project due to natural calamities such as Phailin, cost escalation and non-response bids, among other reasons, which is why the revised proposal was prepared, sources said.

From the revision, the net total budget earmarked for Gujarat is Rs 387.17 crore, Odisha – Rs 334.86 crore and West Bengal – Rs 335.61 crore while Rs 522.45 crore is for national components.

The project includes demarcation of the hazard line all along the coastal area which is mapped through the Survey of India and capacity building and institutional development in the coastal area which is being carried out through the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM).

Sources said that in coastal areas, the ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) are being mapped for conservation and protection. The project involves State-level integrated coastal zone management plan preparation and certain identified interventions mainly to improve the livelihood for local communities in Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal.

Sources pointed out that the progress received so far in the project include a fully operational NCSCM, complete mapping of erosion line and shore line, competition of aerial photography of the entire mainland of the country, mangrove plantation, coral re-plantation, implementation of pollution control measures, erosion control measures among others.

Sources said that the benefits of the project include conservation and protection of coastal ecosystems, pollution mitigation, protection of coastal communities from natural disasters, developing capacity in the area of coastal zone management for promoting sustainable development in these regions.