Panaji, India: Goa’s state level steering committee for mangroves will soon conduct mapping of mangroves in the state to keep a check on encroachments and new growths. A ten-member body headed by the forest secretary has been reconstituted for this purpose. The national institute of oceanography (NIO) will provide satellite imagery to the committee. The group will then analyse the data and begin mapping of mangroves areas.
“The true picture about the mangrove cover will emerge after mapping is done,” former NIO scientist and committee member A G Untawale told TOI.
Conceding that mangroves have been encroached upon, he said CRZ violations along the estuarine coast will be studied. Estuarine stretches of rivers are those that are subjected to tidal fluctuations-low and high tides.
“Mapping will help demarcate the 100-metre setback in the estuarine belt,” Untawale said. If it is not possible to mark it, then proportionate width will be determined.
While destruction of mangroves has been reported in some areas, conversely the mangrove cover has gone up due to eutrophication of paddy fields in khazan areas of Chorao, Divar, Azossim-Mandur, Corjuem and other areas. New islands have also been formed due to siltation caused by run offs from mining dumps, Untawale noted. Goa coastal zone management authority will soon take a decision regarding mapping of mangroves.