Need for setback lines in coastal zone management: A meteorological point of view
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Hydrometeorological events are the greatest coastal hazard for the Indian people. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, which includes areas likely to be flooded by sea level rise due to global warming should, as well, have protected lowlands prone to inundations due to storm surges. This crucial issue has been overlooked in the CRZ Notification. Surges have recorded a height of up to 12 m, followed by persistent sea water invasion as far as 35 km inland Loss of life and destruction of property has been staggering. Monetary losses run into crores and are thus prohibitive. Therefore, coastal managers have to consider whether it is economically viable to rebuild as before, whether to abandon the impacted coast and move inland, or, whether to consider larger setback distances before rebuilding. In the long term, considering the intrinsic value of coastal landforms, functional and protective value of coastal wetlands, the third alternative is expected to be cost-effective and less vulnerable, more so, if it is brought within the ambit of the CRZ.
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