The Ministry of Environment and Forests has constituted a 15-member Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority, which will be headed by the additional chief secretary environment and forests. The authority shall deal with environmental issues relating to the Coastal Regulation Zone. The committee will assume an important role as the state has a 1,600-km coastline. Sources in the department said the authority will have powers to examine proposals for change or modification to the Coastal Zone Management Plan received from the state government and will be free to make specific recommendations on the Coastal Regulation Zone. Officials said the authority shall deal with environmental issues relating to Coastal Regulation Zone which may he referred to it by the Gujarat government, the National Coastal Zone Management Authority or the central government. MoEF stated that apart from various forest department and other officials, the authority will have T P Singh, director, BISAG, Gandhinagar; Rajesh Doshi, marine engineer, Vadodara; H B Chauhan senior scientist Space Applications Center, Ahmedabad or his senior representative; H S Singh, retired IFS, ex-PCCF, Gandhinagar and Rajesh Shah, managing trustee, VIKAS Center for Development, Ahmedabad as its expert members. Apart from giving clearances, the authority shall co-ordinate to implement conservation projects or projects related to the upliftment and protection of the populace of coastal areas, identify coastal areas vulnerable to erosion or degradation and formulate area-specific management plans for these areas and arrange funding for them. The authority shall identify critical stretches of the Coastal Regulation Zone and prepare Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans for these apart from other related work.

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