Bhubaneswar, Oct 31 (LocalWire): A US-based research organization has predicted tidal submergence of large tracts of coastal Odisha in the next three decades.
The latest research findings by Climate Central, a research organization based in New Jersey, said districts of Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore are exposed to tidal ingress.
The rise in sea level may lead to submergence of large tracts of prominent wetlands like Bhitarkanika National Park, Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandrabhaga beach, Chilika brackish water lake, the study said.
A study by Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) conducted earlier in the state had found 10% of Odisha’s 480-km-long coastline as highly erosion-prone.
The stretches of beach near Gopalpur port, Paradeep port, Chilika Lake, Puri, Satabhaya, Pentha are esrosion-prone.
The southern coast in the state is less exposed to sea erosion than the eastern coast.
Good sand dune system along the southern coast provides a good defense against erosion, the study maintained.
The coastline of Odisha is also subject to strong littoral drift and long shore current from the south to north direction.
The annual littoral drift takes place from the southwest to northeast direction during the southwest monsoons and during northeast monsoon, a return drift in the opposite direction takes place.
The northerly long shore drift encountered during March-September is more dominant and accounts for major movement of sediment and the subsequent shoreline changes.
These dynamic sediment movements have resulted in constant changing of the shoreline, specially the inlet mouth of Chilika lagoon and the profile of major estuaries.
Because of sediment transportation and manmade structures, coastal erosion is being encountered at stretches near Puri, Chandrabhaga, Gopalpur, Satabhaya and Pentha.
The high demographic pressure and associated developmental activities within the coastal stretch of Odisha further compounds these issues and hence call for an integrated approach for its sustainable management, the report iterated.
The devastating effect of sea level rise has already begun to be experienced in the state with the sea battering the Satabhaya coast in Kendrapara district.
The government implemented the state’s first rehabilitation and resettlement project for sea-erosion-affected people of Satabhaya village.
The sea has already encroached the village altogether.
The state relocated the people to the resettlement colony at Bagapatia village.
The geo-synthetic seawall project has also been implemented in sea-battered Pentha coast to arrest the mighty waves from making ingress into human settlements.
Besides, parts of Gopalpur and Puri are also bearing the brunt of sea erosion prompting the government to seek experts’ help to find ways to tame the marauding sea.
‘The state government has gauged the gravity of the situation emerging in some of the coastal regions due to the advancing sea.
We are planning to hire services of scientists from Indian Institute of Technology to conduct scientific research.
However it is yet to be finalized,’ said Special Relief Commissioner, Pradeep Kumar Jena.