In the next four years, the Survey of India (SoI) will plant permanent pillars and wooden pegs at intervals all along the coast, clearly demarcating the hazard line to residents, visitors and prospective developers for the next century.

For the first time, the hazard line will not just be mapped digitally and on printed maps stored in government offices, but will also be demarcated on the ground.

Once the exercise is completed, the hazard line will become the new boundary for restriction on development activities in areas where it extends further inland than the current boundary of 500 metres from the coast, according to Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh.

Mr. Ramesh announced at a function to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the SoI in the presence of Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan.

The hazard line will take into account the past trends of tidal movements, flood lines and coastal erosions, and would predict the likely areas of danger for the future, said Manoj Tayal, Additional Surveyor-General.

While permanent pillars will be placed on government land at five km intervals, wooden pegs would be used to demarcate the hazard line at 500 metre intervals, Mr. Tayal added. Planning Commission member K. Kasturirangan suggested that the government could explore the idea of launching a satellite dedicated to monitoring and managing the coastal zone.

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