India: Digitisation of Kerala coast being carried out by the Hydrographic Survey Wing of the Ports Department is set for completion by the year-end. Conducted primarily for purposes of coastal navigation, coastal regulation zone (CRZ) calculation and security of the coastal areas, the project envisages creation of geographic information system (GIS) maps full with overlays comprising terrain features, bathymetric details of coastal waters and photos of landmark institutions over an area of 500 metre on land from the coastline along the State’s 580-km-long coast.
The project, in its third year now, has made significant headway and digital coastal maps of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts were handed over to the coastal police last week. Maps of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kozhikode districts were in the final stages of preparation; digitisation survey was over for Malappuram and Kannur districts.
The digital maps project rolled out by the wing will come handy while dealing with complaints pertaining to encroachments along the coast, destruction of mangrove forests and other coastal area violations. Reportedly, several departments have shown interest in the project.
While the coastal police want to use it for security purposes, institutions such as Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, Centre for Earth Science Studies, Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation, and Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment have demanded copies of the map. An annual outlay of the project is estimated to be Rs. 25 lakh.
Source: The Hindu