Over 33 percent India’s coastline under varying degree of erosion


New Delhi, March 31 (UNI) Around 33.6  percent of the total 6,632 km long Indian coastline of the mainland is under varying degrees of erosion.

“The reasons for coastal erosions include increase in frequency of Cyclones and Sea level rise and anthropogenic activities such as construction of harbours, beach mining and building of dams” Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences  Dr. Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

He said the National Center for Coastal Research (NCCR), an attached office of MoES, has been monitoring shoreline erosion since 1990 using remote sensing data and GIS mapping techniques.

The Minister said there are 526 maps prepared for the entire Indian coast for identifying areas vulnerable to coastal erosion at a 1:25000 scale, along with 66 district maps and 10 state/UT maps.

A Report on the “National Assessment of Shoreline Changes along the Indian Coast” was released in July, 2018 and shared with various central and state government agencies and stakeholders for implementing shoreline protection measures.

“The digital and hard copy of all the maps were released on March 25th, 2022,” he added.

In another question over the condition of the Himalayas and snowfall activities in the region, he said a recent study has shown that there has been less snowfall and greater rainfall in the Himalayas in the last few years.

Dr Jitendra Singh said studies from the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) have shown that over four glacierised basins (Chandra, Bhaga, Miyar, and Parvati) in the western Himalaya show an overall decreasing trend in precipitation during 1979–2018.

He added that this trend is not monotonic, with a higher (23.9%) reduction in precipitation during the accumulation (winter) season than the ablation (summer) season (15.4%).

Furthermore, studies indicated that while the snowfall is decreasing, the liquid precipitation (rainfall) has been increasing over these glacierised basins, particularly during the accumulation months, he said.

The Minister said that increased rainfall in place of snowfall during spring would lead to early exposure of glaciers, enhanced glacier melt rates, and could accelerate the frequency and magnitude of avalanches and flash floods.

Avalanches and landslides are natural phenomena that cannot be prevented. However, early warnings and forecasts for rainfall and snowfall are being issued by various institutions under the MoES and Ministry of Defence, “he said.


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