Odisha News Insight

6th State Steering Committee approves ICZM for Odisha

Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for OdishaTasks of infrastructure building, disaster management, establishing commercial set ups and ecosystem conservation process across coasts would be simple soon. The arduous process of identifying coastal zones, selecting lands under different environmental parameters and rigorous management process would be addressed through a comprehensive Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan and Odisha would be the first state in India to formulate such a scientific coastal plan for sustainable management of coastal resources of the state.

Now Odisha is all set to initiate the process of ICZM planning after the approval of the 6th state steering committee chaired by Shri Gokul Charan Pati, Chief Secretary of Odisha on 23rd May 2015. The plan is expected to be completed within 15 month time. Odisha will lead the country in formulation of the ICZM & shoreline management plan for sustainable management of the coasts. The Odisha SPMU has completed the regional coastal process study, a significant primary data collection method and a necessary step towards the preparation of ICZM plan. Shri Pati directed that the study should be exhaustive and compile inputs on coastal drainage system, water channels and other sources to supplement the plan. He also lauded the progress of different components like alternate livelihood for fisher folks, infrastructure created for eco-tourism centres across Chilika, restoration of cultural heritage sites and community mangrove plantations by community members. He stressed that the local management committees should be more effective and functional, so that the economic benefit could be shared among the community members. Chief Secretary directed that departments would add value to the facilities created under ICZM project.

The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZM) 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 5ppt salinity in dry season whichever is farther and sea ward up to 12 nautical miles towards sea from the low tide line – LTL. In order to achieve this objective and prepare the ICZM plan for Odisha, a consultancy firm is selected under ICZM project to execute the work within a 15 month time frame.

The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) would focus on providing a clear frame work for better coordination of the developmental inter & intra activities along the coastal stretch through strategic actions and sustainable polices for effective management of the coastal zone to maintain a balance between the development and conservation at the same time safeguarding the livelihood of local communities.

A Shoreline Management Plan for the entire coast of Odisha would 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.

It is essential to manage coastal zone, balancing and integrating demands of various sectors at the same time facilitate much needed awareness about its values and functions and promote its wise use by the local communities who depend on it for their livelihood.

“ICZM is a planning and coordinating process, where the primary purpose is to bring together various concerned agencies to work towards common objectives”, said Dr AJit Kumar Pattanaik, PD of ICZMP – Odisha. He also elaborated that ICZM provides a larger perspective for development related activities as well as conservation of coastal ecosystems. The coast is also a highly vulnerable area especially with reference to impacts of  climate change and sealevel rise.
There is also conflict for space and resources.Coastal planning refers to a process of comprehensive studying of resources, economic activities and societal needs including the problems and opportunities in the designated coastal planning area or coastal zone and proposing future action. The important purpose of planning is to examine the past and the present so is to choose the best outcome of the future. Working within the constraints of limited space and resources, ICZM plan can help by providing a mechanism along with the tools that allow development activities underscored by the precautionary principle while ensuring rational resource allocation and conservation of ecosystems. It also ensures incorporation of environmental and social concerns in the developmental activities.

The SPMU  of ICZM Project Odisha  have generated credible primary data on coastal process based on one year extensive study of the Odisha coast covering entire 480 Kms based on the sediment cell for the first time in India. This path breaking study generated incredible data and a world class data base is generated which would provide the basic inputs for the ICZM Planning. The holistic study covering the entire coast would provide a very good insight in to the coastal process along Odisha coast and by use of these data the cumulative effect of each developmental project over the entire coast could be predicted. The International Experts were also highly impressed with the data base created through the study.

The process of Shoreline management Plan & ICZM plan preparation is a challenging task. To facilitate this SPMU Odisha earlier organized deliberations through training workshops on ICZM. The international experts with experience on ICZM planning provided hands on training to key stakeholders from different government departments, fishermen, NGOs, academician, experts and scientists.

The sixth steering committee meeting was also attended by Development Commissioner, Shri Upendra Kumar Behera, Water Resources Secretary Shri P.K. Jena, Tourism & Culture Secretary Shri Arabinda Padhi, Fisheries Secretary Shri Bishnupad Sethi, Shri J.D.Sharma, PCCF – Odisha. Senior departmental officers and nodal officers of ICZMP along with the senior functionaries of SPMU participated in the meeting.

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