Report by OD bureau; Bhubaneswar: The National Project Director of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) Shri Bibek Wadekar visited the project villages in Puri district today to see for himself the implementation of different project components in Odisha under the aegis of the World Bank.
After taking charge recently as the National Project Director of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, Shri Wadekar is in Odisha to assess the field level progress and beneficiaries feedback on the different components of ICZM Project under Ministry of Forest & Environment. He will also attend a consultation workshop on the capacity building of the other coastal states on coastal management issues under ICZMP in Bhubaneswar.
During his first day of visit, Shri Wadekar went to Gopinathpur and Gangadharpur village in Krishnaprasad block of Puri district on September 14, to see the impact of the ICZM Project on beneficiaries. He met the fisher self-help groups at Gopinathpur where the Fishery and ARD department is implementing the alternative livelihood component for fisher groups under ICZMP. The fishers SHGs in this village have adopted fresh water pisciculture in place of widespread brackish water shrimp culture which has caused huge environmental damage and financial loss to the fishers in the region after the project intervention. The National Project Director enquired the level of financial assistance, skill enhancement, process of pisciculture and the marketing support provided to the fisher groups. “Proper market linkage to the fishers and adequate planning for sustainability of the programme would be helpful to the fishers,” said Sri Wadekar during his interaction with the self-help groups.
He also visited the nearby Gangadharpur village selected for providing alternative livelihood through coir training activity and assistance through Directorate of Handicrafts and Cottage Industry under ICZMP. He met the women SHGs and its group members. The collective efforts of the master trainers, community members of the village and SHGs for adopting this craftsmanship were appreciated by the central team. The National Project Director also bought a coir mattresses prepared by the local SHGs during the interaction.
The national team led by Shri Wadekar returned to Bhubaneswar in the afternoon and met the project executing agencies in a meeting chaired by Dr Ajit Kumar Pattnaik, Project Director of ICZMP – Odisha for a detailed review on the progress. The team task leader of the World Bank Shri Tapas Paul also joined the meeting in Bhubaneswar and urged the PEAs for comprehensive implementation of the project in the field.
During the field visit the national team was accompanied by Shri A.C.Dinkar, APD(Operations), Dr N.C.Biswal, Fishery Expert, Dr A.K.Sahu, Ecologist, Dr. Mamata Mishra, Rural Development Expert, Biswajit Sahoo, Communication & Capacity Building Officer of ICZM Project and Dr Pradip, Economist of SICOM along with Shri Basant Kumar Das, Additional Fishery Development Officer(Marine), Puri, Shri P.K.Nanda, Cluster Coordinator of DHCI.