The State Government will be implementing the World Bank-backed Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction Project in Tamil Nadu this year, said T S Sridhar, Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Revenue Administration (Disaster Management and Mitigation).
Delivering the guest of honour address during the 3rd International Search and Rescue Conference organised by the State Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and National Maritime Foundation here on Thursday, Sridhar said the coastal villages would benefit from the risk mitigation infrastructure to be created through the project. The World Bank had stated about 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, Sridhar said.
A statement from the World Bank had 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.
The project would also build evacuation infrastructure, including shelters, access roads and early warning systems. Disaster management curriculums for schools and training institutions would help benefit a large community of school children and trainees.
In order to strengthen livelihood of those dependent on fishing, the project would help upgrade its infrastructure, develop an approach for co-management of fisheries and address issues related to safety at sea.
The project would also help build the capacity of government institutions, civil society organizations and vulnerable communities to deal with disaster risks.
Community-based disaster risk management approach would 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, would be completed under this project.
About 120 multipurpose evacuation shelters would be constructed and 440 early warning systems would be installed along with evacuation routes with signages.
In addition, about 1,000 km of overhead electrical network would be replaced with underground cables to minimise the damages from cyclones and floods.
The project would be financed by credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, which provides interest-free loans with 25 years of maturity and a grace period of five years.