ADB to help protect coastal areas in three vulnerable Indian states

September 29th, 2010 - 4:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Manila (Philippines), Sept.29 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping India protect its coastline affected by severe erosion.

The ADB’s Board of Directors today approved a multitranche financing facility of up to 250 million dollars for the Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Program which aims to reduce coastal erosion and instability in the western coastal states of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

It will focus on solutions that protect the coastal environment, as well as support private sector and community involvement in the protection and management activities.

India has over 7,500 of kilometers of coastlines with up to a quarter of its population living within 50 kilometers of the sea.

Natural effects, such as, storms and currents, along with activities such as dredging, river damming and sand mining or construction of littoral barriers, have accelerated coastal erosion, damaging or destroying hundreds of hectares of land, large areas of crop land, and residential and industrial buildings every year.

An expected increase in the frequency of storms, along with rising sea levels as a result of climate change, poses serious economic and environmental threats.

Past coastal protection strategy in India has focused on hard structures, such as seawalls, which do not necessarily address the root cause of erosion problems. The investment program will incorporate “softer” technologies such as artificial reefs, beach nourishment and dune management, which are both environment-friendly and offer potential economic benefits.

“The introduction of these new technologies for coastal protection will not only help protect the coastline from erosion but will enhance income-generating opportunities for communities living near the affected areas,” said Rezaul Khan, Natural Resources Economist, in ADB’s South Asia Department.

The investment program will help the states develop capacity for shoreline planning and development, facilitate private sector participation in coastal protection and management, train local communities in shoreline management, and identify and support potential income generating activities.

The key performance target is to protect and manage 150 kilometers of coastline with community and private sector involvement.

The facility will release funds from ADB’s ordinary capital resources in four tranches. The first loan of $51.6 million is allocated for two sub-projects in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. The initial loan has a 25-year term, including a grace period of five years, with an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility.

State governments and private sector sources are earmarked to provide a combined $154.6 million, for a total investment program cost of 404.6 million dollars.

State agencies in Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra will execute project activities which are expected to be completed by December 2019. (ANI)

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