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Coastal Erosion in India

  • Published
    5th Dec, 2023

Some coastal stretches of India’s shoreline are subject to varying degrees of erosion due to natural causes or anthropogenic activities.


India's extensive coastline is susceptible to erosion, posing a threat to coastal communities, especially those reliant on fishing. The National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) has been diligently monitoring shoreline changes, revealing that 33.6% of the Indian coastline is vulnerable to erosion. The government's commitment to combat sea erosion is evident through various measures and initiatives.

Shoreline Monitoring and Assessment:

  • NCCR's comprehensive shoreline mapping system, utilizing satellite images and field-surveyed data from 1990 to 2018, highlighted the dynamic nature of India's coast.
  • The vulnerability to erosion, accretion, and stable states were identified, prompting the release of the "National Assessment of Shoreline Changes along Indian Coast" in July 2018.

Government Measures and Commitments: The Government of India has undertaken proactive steps to address coastal erosion, emphasizing the protection of coastal areas and the livelihoods of communities. Key measures include:

Hazard Line Delineation:

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change delineated a hazard line for the entire coast, indicating shoreline changes, including potential sea-level rise due to climate change.
  • This line aids disaster management and adaptive planning in Coastal States.

Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2019:

  • The Ministry has notified Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2019, aiming to conserve and protect coastal stretches.
  • The regulations permit erosion control measures and establish No Development Zones to prevent encroachment and erosion.

Coastal Zone Management Plans:

  • In compliance with the National Green Tribunal's order, Coastal States and Union Territories are urged to finalize Coastal Zone Management Plans, incorporating mapping of erosion-prone areas and Shore Line Management Plans.

National Strategy for Coastal Protection:

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has formulated a national strategy for coastal protection, providing guidelines for all Coastal States and Union Territories.

Flood Management Scheme:

  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti implements anti-sea erosion schemes in collaboration with State Governments.
  • Technical, advisory, and promotional assistance is provided to states based on their priorities.

Coastal Management Information System (CMIS):

  • Initiated under the Central Sector Plan Scheme, CMIS collects near-shore coastal data crucial for planning and executing site-specific coastal protection
  • Sites in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry have been established.

Successful Mitigation Measures:

  • Coastal erosion mitigation projects at Puducherry and Chellanam in Kerala have demonstrated success in restoring and protecting coastal areas.
  • Technical support from the government has aided coastal states in designing protection measures and formulating Shoreline Management Plans.
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