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Erosion threatens one-third of India’s coastline, affecting coastal communities

One-third of India’s coastline is vulnerable to erosion, affecting coastal communities, including fishermen’s communities. The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) calculated the vulnerability of the Indian coastline based on seven coastal parameters: shoreline change rate, sea-level change rate, coastal elevation, coastal slope, coastal geomorphology, significant wave height, and tidal range.

Between 1990 and 2018, the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) used multi-spectral satellite images and ground surveys to monitor India’s coastal areas. According to the Centre, 33.6 percent of the Indian coastline is vulnerable to erosion, 26.9 percent is accreting (growing), and 39.6 percent is stable.

The receding coastline will result in the loss of land/habitat and the livelihood of fishermen by reducing the space available for parking boats, mending nets, and conducting fishing operations. The government set aside Rs 2,500 crore in the 15th Finance Commission for the resettlement of displaced people affected by erosion, as well as mitigation measures to prevent river and coastal erosion. The government has taken steps to protect coastal areas from erosion, such as planting mangroves, planting shelterbelts, and installing Geo-Tubes.

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