The government today signed an agreement to prepare digital maps of the country’s seven km wide coastal belt from Gujarat to West Bengal as part of its efforts to delineate the hazard line for coastal regions.

An agreement to map the 11,000 km coastline arc from Gujarat to West Bengal was signed between the Ministry of Environment and Forests and M/s IIC, Hyderabad in the presence of Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Mr. Ramesh said Stereo Digital Aerial Photography (SDAP) technology will be used to map the coastline of the country.

This initiative is a critical part towards the planned management of the country’s coastal zone, he said.

The total cost involved for SDAP is Rs 27 crores and the project is backed by the World Bank.

For the purpose of SDAP, the Indian mainland coastline has been divided into eight blocks - from Indo-Pakistan border to Somnath in Gujarat; Somnath to Ulhas River in Maharashtra; Ulhas River to Sharavathi River in Karnataka; Sharavathi River to Cape Comorin in Tamil Nadu; Cape Comorin to Ponniyur River in Tamil Nadu; Ponniyur River to Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh; Krishna River to Chhatrapur in Orissa; and Chhatrapur to Indo-Bangladesh Border in West Bengal.

The SDAP will be completed within an estimated 15 months depending upon the weather.

Based on this, maps will be prepared in 1:10,000 scale and after ground verification, pillars will be erected demarcating the hazard line, an official release said.

The hazard line is a composite line of the shoreline changes including sea level rise due to climate change, tides and waves.