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Objectives and Indicators

Keeping the key general issues of the West Bengal coast in perspective the project objectives is related to finding solutions to the following specific problems/situations of the coast:

  • Coastal erosion especially west of Hugli estuary and shoreline protection especially during storm surges
  • Loss of biodiversity (including conservation of wildlife) especially of Sundarban area and their restoration
  • Environmental degradation of coastal areas especially of Digha-Sankarpur area and non-functioning of solid waste management and sewage treatment systems
  • Problems of indiscriminate but inadequate development of tourism facilities especially in Sundarban areas and their regulation
  • Social vulnerability and problems of livelihood support etc.
  • Infrastructure development to support trade, industry and commerce, livelihood, tourism, etc.
  • Vulnerability of coastal resource base, coastal infrastructure and coastal population to climate change – identification of future scenarios and finding adaptation options.

The suggested pilot programs given under sub-section F of this Section II represent solutions to most of the specific problems/situations stated above but restricting the operational area to the Sagar Island and the Digha-Sankarpur stretches of the coast in West Bengal as representing two end member types of coastal situations in the state.

The key indicators to measure the success of ICZMP will be as follows:

    • No retreat/advance of the coast line along the Digha-Sankarpur sector over a sufficient number of years indicating an equilibrium beach
    • No net land loss in the Sundarban areas inclusive of Sagar Island
    • No shrinkage of mangrove covered areas in Sundarban
    • No reduction in the population of keystone species in the Sundarban in the next census
    • Near clean environment in and around Haldia and Digha-Sankarpur with water quality meeting the required discharge standard
    • Increase or at least no decrease in fish catch (catch per effort) along coasts
    • No report of dead olive ridley turtle from Sundarban
    • Change over to multi crop agriculture with availability of grid power in Sagar Island
    • Increase in GDP of the coastal districts of West Bengal
    • No reduction in the number tourists visiting Digha-Sankarpur areas  

Positive response in any or all of the above indictors will point towards success and sustainability of the ICMZP.