Chennai, January 29, 2015: The “Hazard Line” for the coastal regions of India, must be prepared at the earliest to ensure that economic and urban development plans are implemented without affecting the environment or coastal livelihood, urged experts at the end of a two-day consultation at MSSRF in Chennai. The Hazard Line is the line at which natural hazards like adverse weather incidents and tsunami are likely to impact. As per the CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) notification all Economic Urban Development activities need take this line into consideration.
The consultation was organized by Society for Protection of River and Marine Environment (SPRIME) India, National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MOEFCC), Government of India, Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
Presenting the recommendations, Dr. Vijay Kulkarni CSO, Shapoorji Pallonji, Vice President SPRIME, Mumbai said, “Coastal Management must be ecology based rather than construction based as it is now.
Dr. Sukumar Devotta, Former Director NEERI and Vice President SPRIME said “The capacity of the industry as well as Government agencies that implement coastal regulation zone notification needs to be enhanced in terms of mapping, planning and monitoring so that the coastal regulation can gradually evolve into coastal management.”
Experts at the consultation also expressed concern at the livelihood issues. Prof M S Swaminathan, in his concluding remarks observed, “We talk about the economic value of the coast, but we also need to think about the social dimensions and occupational hazards of the people working there. The issue of salt workers for instance, who face so many health issues, has now been noticed by the Tamil Nadu Government thanks to our intervention and they have been brought under the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance scheme.”
Participants said, the most pressing need in the context of increased awareness over Clean India, was concern over the pollution levels along the coastal and marine environment, specifically with regard to waste disposal with Dr. Mahesh Zingde Former Chief Scientist, NIO “institutional and management capacities for waste and sewage disposal and management should be given priority”.
The two-day meeting brought together stakeholders on one platform to outline current status of coastal zone management and document their suggestions and recommendations for future developmental planning for coastal areas, the recommendations of which would be forwarded to the ministry and relevant Government departments.