TN coastal villages to benefit from world bank project
The Tamil Nadu government will implement the World Bank backed Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction Project in the State this year, according to T S Sridhar, additional chief secretary and commissioner of revenue administration (Disaster Management and Mitigation).
Delivering the guest of honour address during the Third International Search and Rescue Conference organised by the State, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and National Maritime Foundation, Sridhar said that coastal villages would benefit from the risk mitigation infrastructure created through the project.
The World Bank said that 150 villages and over 17,000 families would benefit from the construction of permanent multi-hazard resilient houses. The project, worth $236 million, was approved by the World Bank recently to increase the resilience of coastal communities to a range of hazards by enhancing mitigation measures along coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in India.
A World Bank statement said that the coastal population and its economic assets in the State were prone to multiple hazards including high frequency and high intensity cyclones, threat of rising sea levels, storm surges, coastal floods, degradation of mangroves and shelterbelts and severe depletion of ground water resources. On an average, a moderate to severe cyclone strikes the Tamil Nadu coast every two years. Over the past century, 55 cyclones have crossed Tamil Nadu, the World Bank said.
The project will build evacuation infrastructure including shelters, access roads and early warning systems. Disaster management curricula for schools and training institutions will help benefit a large community of school children and trainees.
The fisheries sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors in the coastal zone. In order to strengthen the livelihood of people dependent on fishing, the project will help upgrade its infrastructure, develop an approach for co-management of fisheries and address issues related to safety at sea. The project will help build the capacity of government institutions, civil society organisations and vulnerable communities to deal with disaster risks. Community-based disaster risk management approach will be used to empower communities and increase their resilience to natural hazards.
Construction of about 14,400 multi-hazard resilient permanent houses, which started under the previous Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project across 11 coastal districts in Tamil Nadu, will be completed under this project. It will construct about 120 multipurpose evacuation shelters and install about 440 early warning systems along with evacuation routes with signage. About 1,000 km of overhead electrical network will be replaced with underground cables to minimise the damage caused by cyclones and floods.
The project will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) — the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm — which provides interest-free loans with 25 years to maturity and a grace period of five years.