A sea level rise by even one metre in 2050 will have a serious impact on infrastructure, wetlands and lands along the Tamil Nadu coast line, says a study by the Centre for Development Finance.
The report concentrated on the impact of sea level rise as a result of climate change and financial implications of sea level rise on existing and proposed infrastructure along the coast. It provided an early warning of the implications of indiscriminate development close to the shoreline and the need for integrating development planning with climate adaptation and mitigation.
The study estimated the total replacement value of infrastructure such as ports, power plants and roads affected by the rise would be between Rs. 47.41 crore and Rs. 53.55 crore. The area of risk was estimated on the basis of district-level analyses of the likely impacts from storm surges.
The five coastal districts Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram were estimated to be at risk due to the rise as already storm surges affected these districts, the study said.
A one metre rise in sea level would permanently inundate about 1091 square kilometres along the coast. The report recommended a comprehensive vulnerability assessment of the entire coast, the integration of climate change considerations into all coastal infrastructure development, besides special efforts to protect wetlands and the careful assessment of coastal protection measures.
The finding would provide the basis for conducting more detailed studies covering larger portions of the country, said Sujatha Byravan, Senior Researcher at CDF and Sudhir Chella Rajan, Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Madras, the joint authors of the report.