India’s Coastline Erosion

The Ministry of Earth Sciences has recently informed the Lok Sabha that out of the 6,907.18 km long Indian coastline in the mainland, around 34 per cent is facing erosion, 26 per cent of it is of an accreting nature, and the rest 40 per cent is in a stable state.

Overview:

  • Since 1990, shoreline erosion is being monitored by the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) located in Chennai and falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • To monitor shoreline erosion GIS mapping and remote sensing data techniques are being used.
  • From 1990 to 2018, of the country’s mainland around 6,907.18 km long coastline has been analysed.

The largest rate of erosion among the states in India

  • West Bengal, has a coastline of 534.35 km. The state suffered about 60.5 per cent erosion (323.07 km) from 1990 to 2018.
  • Kerala has a 592.96 km long coastline and 46.4 per cent (275.33 km) erosion has been faced by the state.
  • Tamil Nadu has a 991.47 km long coastline and the state recorded 42.7 per cent (422.94 km) erosion.
  • Gujarat has a 1,945.60 km long coastline and it recorded erosion of 27.06 per cent (537.5 km).
  • Puducherry, with a 41.66 km-long coastline, about 56.2% of its coast (23.42 km) recorded erosion.

Coastal Vulnerability Index

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), another organization under the MoES has published an atlas of Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) maps for India’s entire coastline on a scale of 1:100000. This has been prepared using data on the coastal slope, rise in sea level, coastal elevation, rate in the change of shoreline, tidal range, coastal geomorphology, and wave height.

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