One-third of India’s coastline is vulnerable to erosion, impacting coastal communities

The Centre has observed that 33.6 per cent of the Indian coastline was vulnerable to erosion, 26.9 per cent was under accretion (growing), and 39.6 per cent was in a stable state.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

NEW DELHI: One-third of India's coastline is vulnerable to erosion, impacting coastal communities residing in erosion-prone areas, including fishermen communities. 

The vulnerability of the Indian coastline has been estimated by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) on seven coastal parameters, i.e., shoreline change rate, sea-level change rate, coastal elevation, coastal slope, coastal geomorphology, significant wave height, and tidal range.

The National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) monitored India's coastal areas for three decades between 1990-2018 through multi-spectral satellite images and ground surveys. 

The Centre has observed that 33.6 per cent of the Indian coastline is vulnerable to erosion, 26.9 per cent was under accretion (growing), and 39.6 per cent is in a stable state. 

This long-term shoreline analysis indicates that out of 550 km of the coast in Odisha, 28% of the coast is eroding, 21 per cent is stable, and 51 per cent is accreting.

A report of NCCR on "National Assessment of Shoreline Changes along Indian Coast" revealed that the shoreline changes are a combined effect of natural and human activities.

The receding coastline will cause a loss of land/habitat and the livelihood of fishermen in terms of losing the space for parking boats, mending nets, and fishing operations. 

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply that the report has been shared with various Central and State Government agencies and stakeholders for implementing shoreline protection measures.

Under the 15th Finance Commission, the government had earmarked Rs 2,500 crore for the resettlement of displaced people affected by erosion and mitigation measures to prevent river and coastal erosion.

The government has taken steps to protect the coastal areas from erosion, such as mangrove plantation, shelterbelt plantation and installation of Geo-Tubes.

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