Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ashwin Kumar Chauby recently revealed that the National Center for Coastal Research (NCCR) has conducted a survey on the 6632 coastline km length of India from 1990 to 2018, which found that 33.6% or 2,318.31 km was prone to erosion, 26.9% was experiencing growth, and 39.6% was stable.
Specifically, Gujarat’s coastline is eroding at a rate of 27.6 percent, with 537.5 km eroding, 1,030.9 km remaining stable, and 377.2 km experiencing growth as of 2018, according to the study of the NCCR.
However, the Gujarat government claims that the state has the longest coastline in the country. School textbooks, government publications and search engines have been citing the state’s coastline as 1,000 miles long, according to the report of The New Indian Express.
Gujarat’s Endangered Coastline
Recent reports indicate that Gujarat’s famous beaches are in danger of disappearing or losing their identity in the near future.
Despite Shivrajpur beach in Dwarka receiving Blue Flag accreditation, its coastline is under threat, with 32,692.74 square meters eroded and 2,396.77 square meters growing.
Umbrat Beach in Surat has experienced a growth of 110,895.32 m2, while Tithal in South Gujarat has suffered from erosion of 69,910.56 m2 and Suvali Beach in Surat district has suffered from erosion of 688,783.17 m2.
Dabhri and Dandi have lost 16,401.49 m2 and 69,434.26 m2, respectively, due to bank erosion. The shoreline in Kutch’s Mandvi has grown by 20,471.44 square meters, but it is filled with silt.
What is coastal erosion?
Coastal erosion can be defined as the long-term removal of sediment and rock along the shoreline due to the action of waves, tides, currents, wind-driven water, etc.
Simply put, the loss or displacement of land is also due to storms and other natural events that cause erosion, including high tides with strong waves, and the problem is made worse by global sea level rise.
Coastal erosion is a natural phenomenon that has been occurring for millions of years, but it can also be exacerbated by human activities such as construction, mining, and alteration of natural coastal systems.
Climate change, including rising sea levels and increased storm activity, is also a major contributing factor to coastal erosion.
The central government has taken various initiatives to combat the situation. One of them is the National Center for Sustainable Coastal Management which aims to integrate the sustainable management of coastal and marine areas of traditional coastal and island communities.
In another initiative, the “Integrated Management Plan for the Coastal Zone”, the management of the coast is focused using an integrated approach that includes the geographical and political limits of the region.
To regulate activities in the coastal areas of India, the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification was issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1991 under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.
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