Mangrove mapping to be taken up soon

PANAJI: Though the area of mangrove cover in the state is estimated to be around 5 sq km, thestate level steering committee on mangroves will soon carry out mapping to check for encroachments and new growth.

The ten-member body headed by the forest secretary has been reconstituted and its terms of reference are ground 'truthing' of satellite imagery available with national institute of oceanography (NIO), collection of data on mangrove areas from revenue authorities and mapping of mangroves areas.

"The true picture about the mangrove cover will emerge after mapping is done," former NIOscientist and committee member A G Untawale said.

Conceding that mangroves have been encroached upon, he said CRZ violations along the estuarine coast will be studied. Estuarine stretches of rivers are those that are subjected to tidal fluctuations-low and high tides.

"Mapping will help demarcate the 100-metre setback in the estuarine belt," Untawale said. If it is not possible to mark it, then proportionate width will be determined.