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Coastal crisis: It’s a race against time, and tide, for those living in Odisha’s coastal villages

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Environment – Coastal Erosion


Source: DTE

Context: Data from the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, shows that 74 villages in the state of Odisha are severely affected by shoreline erosion—the highest in the country.

  • A study paper published in the journal Spatial Information Research in June 2018 finds that almost half of Odisha’s coast—196 km of shoreline—has undergone erosion between 1990 and 2015.
  • A major reason for this is the rising sea level, which is surging along the Odisha coast at a rate faster than the rest of the country.


About Coastal Erosion:

  • Coastal erosion is the temporary or permanent loss of land owing to the action of waves, currents, tides, wind-driven water, waterborne ice, or other effects of storms.
  • It can also be the long-term removal of soil and rocks along the shoreline.


Reasons for Coastal Erosion:

Natural reasons

  • Wave energy
  • Natural hazards
  • El Niño and effects of climate change (e.g., sea level rise).

Anthropogenic reasons

  • Mining activities such as sand and Coral mining.
  • Fishing harbours and dams were constructed in the catchment area of rivers and ports.


Impact of Coastal Erosion:


  • Green belts and artificial reefs help in the mitigation of coastal erosion.
  • Coastal habitats such as Mangroves, Coral Reefs, and lagoons are recognized as the best defence against sea storms and erosion, deflecting and absorbing much of the energy of sea storms.
  • Using Geosynthetic tubes: currently being used along the coast in Odisha.
  • Union environment ministry prepared an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZM) to be implemented on a pilot basis in Odisha, along with two other states prone to shoreline erosion—Gujarat and West Bengal.


Insta Links:

Coastal erosion and landforms thus formed


Mains Link:

The extent and severity of the coastal erosion problem are worsening with global sea level rise. It has both ecological and economic costs and needs to be addressed urgently. Analyse. (250 words)