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Tamil Nadu to undertake coastal restoration mission at Rs 2,000 crore

Restoration of the marshland in Pallikaranai, which bore the brunt during the recent floods under the impact of Cyclone Michaung, and Ennore Creek, an ecologically sensitive zone that is under threat due to pollution from heavily polluting industries in the vicinity are some of the key aspects of the project named as Tamil Nadu Coastal Restoration Mission.
Last Updated 13 January 2024, 15:14 IST

As the threat of climate change looms large, the Tamil Nadu government will spend Rs 2,000 crore, over the next five years, to implement a series of initiatives to enhance coastal biodiversity, protect the long coastline, improve livelihoods, and reduce pollution with an objective to prevent sea erosion and conserving marine biodiversity.

Restoration of the marshland in Pallikaranai, which bore the brunt during the recent floods under the impact of Cyclone Michaung, and Ennore Creek, an ecologically sensitive zone that is under threat due to pollution from heavily polluting industries in the vicinity are some of the key aspects of the project named as Tamil Nadu Coastal Restoration Mission.

A biodiversity conservation park in Kadambur in Chengalpattu district near Chennai will be set up at a cost of Rs 345 crore, while Rs 60 crore will be spent in developing sea turtle conservation centres in Nagapattinam and Chennai and Rs 275 crore for restoration of coastal wetlands to focus on strengthening institutional capabilities for comprehensive conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity.

“A Special Purpose Vehicle, Tamil Nadu Blue Carbon Agency, is being set up to ensure focused attention on preservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems, including mangroves, corals, seagrass and salt marshes,” Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment & Forests, said.

The coastal restoration mission will be implemented with World Bank assistance at an estimated cost of Rs.2,000 crore in the next 5 years which will aim at a holistic integration of various sectors to drive a resilient and circular blue economy, enhance local livelihoods, and capacities for a greener future, a G.O. issued by Sahu said.

The mission will also focus on enhancing livelihoods by establishing blue flag beaches, eco-tourism centres, preservation of heritage sites and creation of mangrove boardwalks in pursuit of a thriving Blue Economy.

Officials said the Pollution Abatement component of the mission will focus on the management and reduction of plastic waste in coastal and marine environment.

“This approach emphasizes the promotion of plastic circularity through an ecosystem-centered strategy,” an official said.

Key activities like the identification of plastic waste hotspots, undertaking strategic initiatives to prevent and combat marine pollution by investing in river systems, and development of a digital waste exchange platform aimed at connecting collection facilities and facilitating the development of climate-smart coastal villages, will also be taken up.

The initiatives will include enhancing the resilience of coastal communities through the adoption of eco-friendly infrastructure, such as resilient housing and energy-efficient systems.

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(Published 13 January 2024, 15:14 IST)

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