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India strives to fine-tune coastline core projects

New Delhi, India: The Ministry of Environment and Forests, India has decided to assess the carrying capacity of India’s coastline before allowing multi-sector industries to come up along the coast in the designated areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states. This was stated by Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Government of India.

The minister said that as a prerequisite for the above, satellite-mapping of the coastline had been taken up. “We have to make a cumulative environment impact assessment [EIA] as against that of individual projects to get the real picture. The high-erosion areas in Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Gujarat coasts have been identified and no more projects will be allowed there. The satellite-mapping of the Andhra Pradesh coast will be completed soon,” he added.

He made it clear that power plants or other industries violating environment protection laws will not be condoned. The Centre will hereafter seek third-party assessment about projects in ecologically sensitive areas such as wetlands or multiple-sector projects.

According to Ramesh, the power projects in Sompeta and Kakarapalli of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh were served notices under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, and that proceedings were continuing.

“We are beginning to grapple with the issue of wetlands, and the wetland rules were notified in December 2010. Satellite-mapping of all wetlands was also taken up and an atlas will be released this month,” Ramesh continued.

Source: The Hindu