Place: Gandhinagar | Agency: DNA
The Gujarat Ecology Commission (GEC), in technical collaboration with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics, has come up with a first of its kind Coral Atlas of Gujarat. The atlas was released by state forest and environment minister Mangu Patel on Saturday.
"The atlas has been prepared after complete mapping of coral reefs in the 350 sq km area along the state's coastline. It will make it easy to identify areas of corals which are most adversely affected by various natural and anthropogenic factors," E Balagurusamy, member secretary, GEC, told reporters.The information in the atlas will help in formulating an area-specific conservation strategy. It will also help in identifying potential areas for coral transplantation.
Minister Mangu Patel said that the study report will enable the state to ensure management of the coastal zone in such a way that the natural resources can be protected in spite of rising development activities in coastal areas.
SK Nanda, principal secretary, forest and environment department, said that GEC was conducting pre-feasibility study for transplanting of corals from Lakshadweep and other places in coral areas along Gujarat's coastline.
"Positra, Parwada and Narara in Jamnagar are the three sides where the pre-feasibility study is being undertaken for transplanting corals. The study will be completed in another two-three months," Nanda said. The principal secretary also informed that for the first time corals, outside the Gulf of Kutch, along the coastline of Umargam, Porbandar, Bhavnagar and Diu have been mapped.The official conceded that industrial pollution could cause irreparable damage to the corals, but added that the government will initiate steps to conserve and protect the corals. Earlier, the forest minister had also launched a website on the Integrated Coastal ZoneManagement (IZCM) project.