Hyderabad: Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday said that no more projects including ports would be allowed in areas identified as high-erosion coastal zones in the country.

"We are currently conducting a satellite-based assessment of coastal erosion of all coastal states in the country. Satellite mapping has so far been completed for Gujarat, Puducherry and Orissa while in respect of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa, it will be done by August," he told a press conference here.

The coastal areas would be divided into high, medium and low erosion zones, based on the analysis being carried out by the Institute of Coastal Management of Anna University.

"We will have satellite imagery of all these zones, based on 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010. Based on that we will put a ban on all projects that fall in high-erosion zones," Ramesh said.

"If there are port projects in AP that fall in high-erosion zone, we will put an end to that. But I don't know the picture as yet but we will have a clear picture by August," the minister said replying to a question.

"Our policy is, there should be no ports in high-erosion zones," he added.

Referring to hazard-line mapping of coastal areas, the Union Minister said it was a Rs 120 crore project being executed by the Survey of India and would be completed in two years.

"Hazard-line mapping will cover the 5400-km coastline of Indian peninsula from West Bengal on one side to Gujarat on the other. After demarcation of the hazard line, it will give some picture as to which coastal areas are vulnerable to floods, cyclones and tsunami, which are an annual phenomenon. Coastal erosion is a long-term phenomenon," Jairam pointed out.

(Agencies)