Appreciating the significant outcomes of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Phase-I activities in Odisha, World Bank has offered its support for extension of the Project in the State. This has been discussed in a high level meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi in secretariat conference hall on Friday.
A three-member expert team of World Bank under the leadership of Ms. Paula Caballero, Senior Director Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice of World Bank, Principal Secretary Forest & Environment Sri Suresh Chandra Mohapatra and Project Director ICZM Dr. Ajit Kumar Pattanaik along with other senior officers participated in the discussion. Ms. P. Chaballero said that the outcomes of the ICZM interventions taken up during Phase-I in Odisha has been quite impressive and encouraging. She offered to extend further World Bank support for the interventions like capacity building, scientific management of fishery resources, eco-management in costal industrial sites like Paradip etc. Chief Secretary Sri Padhi said that State would like to have World Bank support in development of the infrastructure for fishery, eco-tourism and livelihood promotion activities. Chief Secretary added that the best practices developed during Phase-I interventions should be replicated and scaled up during Phase-II of the project.
Available data shows that Odisha is one among three other States like Gujrat and West Bengal who are implementing this kind of project. In the performance outcome so far Odisha is the leading State. Coastal Zone Management Society of Odisha has been formed under Chairmanship of Chief Secretary for monitoring the implementation of the project. In the Phase-I near about 180 kms of coastal area has been covered under the project. Govt have proposed to extend the project to other 300 kms of coastal zone in the second phase.
The Pahse-II proposal has been submitted to Govt of India, the sanction of which is awaited. The senior officers present in the meeting also raised the concern about delay in release of funds from Govt of India for implantation of Phase-I activities.
Available data shows, the Phase-I project period has been scheduled up to 2017 with a revised financial outlay of Rs. 334 cr. The major interventions taken up in the project include strengthening of Wetland Research & Training Center at Chilika, Protection Measures for control of coastal erosion at Pentha in Kendrapara district, conservation of Biodiversity & Livelihood Security through eco-tourism, Alternative Livelihood for costal fishermen, development of Participatory Ecotourism at Chilika and Tampara, establishment of Coastal Mitigation Laboratory at Paradeep, Solid Waste Management Project at Paradeep, construction of multipurpose cyclone centers along the coast lines, conservation and improvement of Coastal Archeological and Cultural assets, Regional Coastal Process Study and Coir Training –cum-Production Center along Chilika coast and livelihood enhancement support to people through SHGs etc. The activities are being implemented through 14 number of departments, Urban local bodies and special agencies. So far Rs.160 cr has been utilized. The Annual action Plan of Rs. 7853.91 lakhs has been prepared for 2015-16.
The other members in the World Bank Team were Ms. Kseniya Lvosky, Practice manager of World Bank and Task Team Leader Sri A. Ramkrishna. The team after vesting project areas during its two day visit to the State held discussions with Chief Secretary.