Govt mulls vulnerability line for coast

NEW DELHI, MARCH 25 | Updated: Mar 26 2005, 06:00am hrs
The environment ministry is now looking at drawing a vulnerability line along the coastline to demarcate areas that face a threat from a variety of calamities, ranging from cyclones to another tsunami.

The ministry recently had a meeting of experts to chalk out the modality of undertaking such an exercise.

We are thinking of mapping a few areas in a pilot project first to see how it goes, said a ministry official. At the meeting, officials and experts discussed the various parameters that would go into mapping the entire coastal areas.

Many countries like the US, UK and New Zealand have vulnerability maps of their coastal areas. The New Zealand vulnerability map is based on the rate of erosion and flooding of coastal areas. In UK, the vulnerability maps are based on the basis of erosion and flooding.

The US has taken seven parameters for demarcating its vulnerability map, including geology, geomorphology, sea-level trends, horizontal shoreline displacement, tidal ranges and wave height, the report of the M S Swaminathan committee set up to review the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification of 1991 had noted.

The idea of vulnerability mapping has been put forward in the same report.

The committee suggested seven parameters for India elevation, geology, geomorphology, sea level trends, horizontal shoreline displacement, tidal ranges and wave heights.

The committee suggested that tidal ranges can be mapped from the tidal table published by the Survey of India and wave heights from ship observations published by the National Institute of Oceanography and elevation data from satellite data surveys.