Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 23:
Odisha will soon become the first state to have an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZM) complete with a comprehensive Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) to streamline the tasks of infrastructure building, disaster management, establishing commercial set ups and ecosystem conservation process along the 480-km-long coast of the state.
The decks were cleared for the implementation of the plan after it received the approval of the sixth state steering committee at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Gokul Charan Pati here today.
The State Government intends to simplify the arduous process of identifying coastal zones and lands under different environmental parameters by using ICZM that will also make for sustainable management of coastal resources of the state.
The plan is expected to be completed within a 15-month period.
The ICZM plan would also focus on providing a clear framework for better coordination of inter and intra developmental activities along the coastal stretch through strategic actions and sustainable policies for effective management of the coastal zone to maintain a balance between development and conservation and at the same time safeguarding the livelihood of local communities.
“The coast is also a highly vulnerable area, especially with reference to impacts of climate change and sea level rise. There is also conflict for space and resources. ICZM provides a larger perspective for development related activities as well as conservation of coastal ecosystems. Its primary purpose is to bring together various concerned agencies to work towards common objectives,” said Dr AJit Kumar Pattanaik, PD of ICZMP, Odisha.
The ICZMP for Odisha coast would be formulated based on Sediment Cells delineated by NCSCM, Chennai falling between the coastal stretches of Gopalpur to Chilika (116 km) and Paradip to Dhamra (80 km).
The zone of consideration extends landward up to 15 km from high tide line (HTL) or outer limits of coastal village or town or river having 5 ppt salinity in dry season whichever is farther and seaward up to 12 nautical miles towards sea from the low tide line – LTL.
The government will deploy a consultancy firm to achieve the objective and prepare the ICZM plan for Odisha within 15 months.
A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for the entire coast of Odisha would also be formulated by analyzing various issues related to shoreline changes including erosion, flooding and sea water inundation caused by natural forces like cyclones and anthropogenic activities.
SMP would be essential to manage coastal zone, balancing and integrating demands of various sectors and also facilitate much-needed awareness about its values and functions while promoting its wise use by the local communities who depend on it for their livelihood.