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A third of India’s coastline underwent erosion in 28 years: Ministry of Earth Sciences

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  • Published
    25th Aug, 2021


As per a latest report by the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, 27% of coastline expanded between 1990 and 2018.

Key-highlights of the situation

  • As much as 32 per cent of India’s coastline underwent sea erosion and 27 per cent of it expanded between 1990 and 2018.
  • The country’s coastline is 6,631.53 kilometres long:
    • Erosion: 2,135.65 kilometres was subject to varying degrees of erosion
    • Expansion: 1,760.06 km expanded during this period.
    • Stable: Nearly 2,700 km of the coastline is stable.  

Coastline underwent erosion

Coast expanded state-wise

  • West Bengal (60 %)
  • Puducherry (56%)
  • Kerala (41 %)
  • Tamil Nadu (41 %
  • Andhra Pradesh (28 %)
  • Gujarat including Daman and Diu (%)
  • Odisha (26 %)
  • Karnataka (24 %)
  • Maharashtra (22 %)
  • Goa (19 %)
  • Odisha (51%)
  • Andhra Pradesh (48%)
  • Karnataka (26%) 
  • West Bengal (25%)
  • Tamil Nadu (22%) 
  • Kerala (21%)
  • Gujarat including Daman and Diu (20%)
  • Goa (14%)
  • Maharashtra (10%)
  • Puducherry (8%) 

 Factors and Causes of Soil Erosion

  • Human Induced factors
  • Faulty farming systems
  • deforestation caused by overgrazing
  • clearance of land for agricultural purposes
  • construction, dam construction
  • diversion of the natural course of rivers
  • mining activities

Rainfall Intensity and Runoff

  • The impact of raindrops break up the soil and water build-up creates runoff, taking sediment with it.

Why more Erosion in eastern coast rather than western coast?

  • The eastern coast underwent more erosion due to frequent cyclonic activities from Bay of Bengal in the past three decades, compared to the western coast, which remained largely stable.

National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) 

  • The NCCR, an attached office of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, monitors shoreline changes along the Indian coast.
  • It has carried out a national shoreline change assessment mapping for Indian coast using 28 years of satellite data from 1990 to 2018 along nine coastal states and two Union territories (UT) to provide information for coastal management strategy, the minister added.

The following organizations also undertake studies on shoreline changes / coastal erosion and their impact.

  • The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • The Central Water Commission under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti.

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