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New Delhi, May 13

India has initiated an exercise to map the hazard line along its coast that will assist in protecting the coastal communities and infrastructure from natural hazards such as cyclones, storm surges and tidal waves among others. The Survey of India in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) will map and delineate the hazard line along the coast. A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed between the officials of the Environment Ministry and the Survey of India (SoI) on Wednesday in the presence of the Environment Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, and the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Prithviraj Chavan. The Rs 125-crore, World Bank-funded initiative forms a critical part of MoEF's responsibilities in terms of planning and management of the coastal zone. The mapping exercise will be taken up initially in three States of Gujarat, West Bengal and Orissa and the remaining States of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh will be taken up in the second phase, said Mr Jairam Ramesh. As part of the project, the hazard line for the mainland coast of India will be mapped and delineated.

The mapping exercise, expected to be completed in four-and-half years, will benefit about six million people residing in the coastal areas and vulnerable to natural hazards.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 14, 2010)
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