Odisha’s Bhitarkarnika National Park Declared Criticially Vulnerable Coastal Area

Kendrapada:  Bhitarkanika National Park has become Odisha’s first Critically Vulnerable Coastal Area (CVCA) by the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry. The Ministry, in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification accorded the tag to Bhitarkanika to protect its critical coastal environment and address problems faced by local communities.

Now, the area within 50 metre of High Tide Line will be treated as CRZ.

This has come as good news for fishermen, forest dwellers and environatmentalists, who welcomed the Ministry’s decision at a public hearing on Coastal Zone Management Plan draft, organised by the district administration and Forest department on Saturday.

Apart from Bhitarkanika, the country’s largest mangrove forest at Sundarban in West Bengal,  Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, Malvan, Achra- Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, Coringa, East Godavari and  Krishna in Andhra Pradesh were declared CVCAs, said DFO of Bhitarkanika National Park Bikash Ranjan Dash.

“In the public hearing, a few fishermen and prawn gheri owners demanded publication of proper CRZ maps. We told them that Odisha Space Application Centre (OSAC) is working on it,” said the DFO.

There is now a demand to de-notify some villages from the national park area owing to their location.  Some prawn farmers from Rajkanika and Rajnagar said although they had registered their farms under Coastal Aquaculture Authority  (CAA) and Rules, 2005, these are being demolished by the officials.


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