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Institutions & Authorities in Coastal Zone Management

Central Government


Several central government ministries, departments and agencies are vitally connected with coastal zone activities of India. They include the following:

Ministry of Environment & Forests

The Ministry of Environment & Forests is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government, for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programmes. The principal activities undertaken by Ministry of Environment & Forests, consist of conservation & survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife, prevention & control of pollution, afforestation & regeneration of degraded areas and protection of environment, in the frame work of legislations. Management of coastal zone of the country is regulated by the Ministry and clearances for use of the coastal zone are given by the Ministry also.

MOEF also monitors the implementation of CRZ notification, the EIA notification, and the Environment (Protection) Act. As part of the Ministry, the Central Pollution Control Board sets regulatory norms on coastal pollution.

Ministry of Earth Sciences

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is mandated to provide the nation with best possible services in forecasting the monsoons and other weather/climate parameters, ocean state, earthquakes, tsunamis and other phenomena related to earth systems through well integrated programmes. The Ministry also deals with science and technology for exploration and exploitation of ocean resources (living and non-living), and play nodal role for Antarctic/Arctic and Southern Ocean research. The Ministry’s mandate is to look after Atmospheric Sciences, Ocean Science & Technology and Seismology in an integrated manner. The various Units under the Ministry of Earth Sciences include National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) Chennai, National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research (NCAOR) Goa, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Hyderabad, Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management Project Directorate (ICMAM-PD) Chennai, and Centre for Marine Living Resources & Ecology (CMLRE) Kochi under the Ocean Science & Technology sector. MoES aims to create a framework for understanding the complex interactions among key elements of the Earth System, namely ocean, atmosphere and solid earth, by encompassing national programmes in Ocean science, meteorology, climate, environment and seismology.

Department of Ocean Development

Forecasting the monsoons and other Weather/climate events, earthquakes, tsunamis and etc.

Ministry of Agriculture

Management of coastal fisheries and aquaculture.

Coast Guards, Ministry of Defence

Management of oil pollution, preventing poaching and etc.

Ministry of Commerce

Development of export oriented marine products, and management of the special economic zones;

Ministry of Surface Transport

Administration of the ports and harbours.

Ministry of Tourism

Development of tourism related activities along the coastal stretches.

Ministry of Rural Development

Implementation of poverty alleviation, employment generation, infrastructure development and social security programs.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Execution of the integrated socio-economic developments targeted towards the under-privileged sections of the society.

Ministry of Urban Development

Town and country planning, provision of urban infrastructure, and urban waste management.

Ministry of Industries

Setting up of industrial units, and for attracting industrial investment in coastal areas as per the norms in an accelerated pace.

Ministry of Mines

Regulating coastal and offshore mining.

Ministry of Home

Coordinating and supporting disaster management planning and mitigation activities;

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Regulating exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas.

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers

Monitoring storage of chemicals and fertilizers in the ports.

National Institutions


National Institute of Oceanography

The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is one of the 38 constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi and was established on 1 January 1966. The objective of NIO is to develop knowledge on physical, chemical, biological, geological, geophysical, engineering and pollution aspects of the waters around India and to provide support to various industries, government and non-government organisations through consultancy and contract research. The focus of research has been on observing and understanding the special oceanographic features that the North Indian basin offers. The inferences from this research have been reported in about 5000 research articles so far. The major research areas include the four traditional branches of oceanography - biological, chemical, geological/geophysical, and physical - and some other areas such as marine instrumentation and archaeology. The institute also operates a coastal research vessel CRV Sagar Sukti, a 23 m vessel equipped for multidisciplinary oceanographic observations. NIO's scientists also have access to the ocean going research vessel ORV Sagar Kanya, operated by the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The institute also carries out applied research sponsored by the industry. These studies include oceanographic data collection, environmental impact assessment, and modeling to predict environmental impact. The institute also provides consultancy on a number of issues including marine environmental protection and coastal zone regulations.

National Institute of Ocean Technology

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) was established in November 1993 as an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. The major aim of starting NIOT is to develop reliable indigenous technology to solve the various engineering problems associated with harvesting of non-living and living resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is about two-thirds of the land area of India. The organizational mission is to develop world class technologies and their applications for sustainable utilization of ocean resources, to provide competitive, value added technical services and solutions to organizations working in the oceans and to develop a knowledgebase and institutional capabilities in India for management of ocean resources and environment.

Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune

The Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune was established in 1916 with a limited mandate to modify irrigation practice to meet agricultural requirements. Over years CWPRS has become the principal central agency to cater to the R&D needs of projects in the fields of water and energy resources development and water-borne transport. Indeed it is now one of the foremost organisations in the world in the field of hydraulics and allied research. CWPRS provides specialised services through physical and mathematical model studies in river training and flood control, hydraulic structures, harbours, coastal protection, foundation engineering, construction materials, pumps and turbines, ship hydrodynamics, hydraulic design of bridges, environmental studies, earth sciences, and cooling water intakes. As the Regional Laboratory of ESCAP since 1971, CWPRS has offered its services to a number of projects in the neighbourhood as well as in countries in Middle East and Africa.

Kolkata Port Trust

KPT has two dock systems – the Calcutta dock system and Haldia dock system. Both these port system require hydrographic data regularly for safe navigation. The Marine department of the Trust as well as its Hydraulic Study Unit provides the necessary vital input. River training work for adequate draft in the approaches of the dock systems in the Hugli estuary are carried out by the Trust. Haldia dock system occupies and uses vital stretches of the coastal area.

Eastern Regional office of Central Pollution Control Board

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Principal functions of the CPCB are (i) to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and (ii) to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country. Important projects of Kolkata Zonal Office during 2006-2007 include Environment status of beaches in the Eastern Zone, Studies on Environmental Status of Coastal aquaculture including Effluent Treatment System in West Bengal & Orissa, Studies on Marine Debris, Status of fish processing industries in Orissa & West Bengal.

Marine Wing, Geological Survey of India

The Marine Wing of Geological Survey of India is mandated to carry out sea bed mapping within limits of territorial water of India. The mapping includes also working out the geophysical characteristics and assessment of economic minerals that may be present in the sea bed. Special studies related to geotechnical assessment of coastal areas are also undertaken for specialized development requirements

Zoological Survey of India

The Zoological Survey of India, the only organization in the country involved in the study of all kinds of animals from Protozoa to Mammalia, occurring in  all possible habitats from deepest depth of the ocean to the peaks of Himalaya, was established on 1st July, 1916 to promote survey, explore and research leading to the advancement in our knowledge of the various aspects of the exceptionally rich animal life. The organisation is a vast repository of National Zoological Collection in the form of various types and reference collections needed for the bio-systematic research and conservation strategies. Exploration activities of the Department in different ecosystems are as follows.
(i)      Estuarine and Marine Surveys
Marine ecosystem survey includes study of faunal status and composition and their interaction with the marine ecosystems. Survey of faunal resources of estuarine areas, brackish-water lakes and back-waters of the eastern coast of India have been recently taken up by the newly established Estuarine Biological Research Station at Gopalpur on Sea, Ganjam, Orissa.
(ii)     Mangrove Faunal Surveys:
For the collection and study of mangrove organisms, faunistic surveys are being undertaken in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sunderbans (West Bengal) and Pitchavaram Islands (Tamil Nadu). The fauna is being thoroughly studied to assess the quantitative and qualitative distribution in these areas.

Botanical Survey of India

BSI is the nodal agency in the central government mandated to carry out botanical survey of the whole country inclusive of the coastal area. Several publications have been brought out by the Survey on floral characteristics of coastal regions of India that give comprehensive accounts of the flora endemic to various coastal regions.

Government of West Bengal


Several departments of the Government of West Bengal play important roles in the management of coastal areas of West Bengal. They are as follows:

Department of Environment

The Environment Department was created on 02/06/1982 with the following business: Environment & Ecology, Prevention and Control of Pollution of Air, Water and Land, Co-ordination between Departments & Agencies of the State and the Union 
Government concerned with policies and schemes relating to environment and all matters connected with the Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission and the West Bengal Pollution Control Board. The department is the state level agency that regulate and controls the use of the coastal areas of West Bengal.

Department of Fisheries

The Fisheries Department is a major developmental department of the Government of West Bengal that works for the development of fisheries in the state by bringing all types of water bodies into fishery in an eco-friendly manner, involving people within the sector thereby uplifting their socio-economic condition and production of maximum fish food from unit area.

Department of Sundarban Affairs

The department plays an important role in managing the ecologically sensitive Sundarban areas including regulating developmental needs of the region and promoting eco compatible livelihood of the people living in the Sundarban. The department co-ordinates the developmental activities in the Sundarban region of different line departments of the state.

Irrigation and Waterways Department

The department maintains the waterways of the state and arranges of surface water irrigation facilities to agricultural fields. Construction of engineering structures to protect vulnerable stretches of any natural or manmade waterways including sea front and coastal areas are one of the important responsibilities of the Department.           

Department of Forests

The Forest Department of the State protects, manages and regulates use of the forests of the state in general. It has got a special responsibility in managing the Sundarban region both in respect of its forest resources but also the unique wild life of the region. In coastal areas the department often takes up forestry mainly to provide bioshield to the region from devastating cyclones, tidal surge and coastal erosion.

Public Health Engineering Department

Construction and operation of drinking water supply system in the rural areas of the State including the coastal areas is the primary responsibility of the Department. Erection of sewerage and drainage system including treatment of waste water in non-municipal areas including coastal areas is one of the responsibilities of the department.      

State Institutions


Several autonomous and statutory bodies under the Government of West Bengal have important roles/responsibilities in specified areas of coastal zone management:

West Bengal Biodiversity Board (WBBB)

West Bengal Biodiversity Board (WBBB) was established in 2004 in compliance with the Biodiversity Act, 2002 as a statutory body under Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal. Documenting biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge enforcing restriction on usage of biological resources, promoting conservation and sustainable use of biological resources are some of the major mandates of WBBB.

West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB)

West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) is a statutory authority entrusted to implement environmental laws and rules within the jurisdiction of the state of West Bengal. Amongst its responsibilities, the most important one is with respect to monitoring of water quality in coastal rivers, lakes and seas, inventorisation of polluting industries in the coastal zone and ensuring their compliance to the pollution control norms especially for industries discharging wastewater into the coastal waters through regulation of the relevant environmental permits

Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management (IESWM)

Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management (IESWM) was established in March, 1986 with the primary objective of carrying out studies related to wetland functions and its ecology including the coastal wetlands. Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India declared this Institute as an authorised agency for demarcation of High Tide Line, Low Tide Line along the entire Indian Coast, thus upgrading it to a national stature. The maps prepared by this Institute helped many Government, Inter-governmental agencies and Industries to carry out their planned development programmes in coastal areas following proper environmental rules and regulations. To its credit, it has standardised the technique for mangrove assemblage zonation which helps in baseline database creation about the mangroves in Sundarban (which is extremely inaccessible) and Andamans. The Institute is equipped with all modern equipments for survey with DGPS (both single frequency and dual frequency),  Total station etc. Works have been carried out here using GIS softwares like ARC GIS (version 9.1), Arc view, Arc Map, AutoCad Map,  Map Object 2.4; Remote Sensing softwares like ERDAS Imagine, PCI Geomatica,  Geomedia" etc.

Digha-Sankarpur Development Authority (DSDA)

Digha-Sankarpur Development Authority (DSDA) was established in 1993 under the Town and Country Planning Act in the Department of Urban Development. The Authority has been given wide ranging power to plan and implement schemes for improvement of urban infrastructure in the coastal town. Presently the Authority has jurisdiction over 42 mouzas.

Marine Science Department, University of Kolkata

Marine Science Department, University of Kolkata was established in 1983. The Department is active in the field of research on biodiversity of mangrove ecosystem, ecology of phytoplankton and zooplankton, pollution in coastal environment, etc.

School of Oceanography, Jadavpur University

School of Oceanography, Jadavpur University was set up in 1988 with the objective of manpower training and multidisciplinary research on ocean sciences and technology. The School has already undertaken important programmes in teaching, research and manpower training. It was selected in 1999 as the lead centre in India for a collaborative programme with the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, under the DFID programme, for setting up a centre for "Integrated Coastal Zone Management Training".

River Research Institute, West Bengal

River Research Institute, West Bengal, was established in 1943. It is a premier research institute on hydraulics, soil mechanics, hydrology and statistics, under Irrigation and Waterways Department, Govt. of West Bengal. In general they provide the scientific and technological input to I & W department in its engineering works in coastal region. 

Sea Explorer Institute

Sea Explorer Institute founded in 1986 has been championing the spirit of adventure and sport for the last 20 years. Nearly 9,000 students have undergone training in adventure sports and training courses offered by the institute. As the name suggests, the institute principally focuses on marine activities. A notable feature of the Sea Explorers’ Institute is that it attempts to temper adventure with a sense of responsibility for the marine environment. Indeed, all the expeditions (10 to date) have had a very strong marine research orientation. The Sundarban expedition studied the effect of pollutants in water at different spots in the estuaries.