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Sea eating into Ganjam coast

A view of the structures that were washed away in Ramayapatna.

A view of the structures that were washed away in Ramayapatna.  

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Erosion increases with monsoon, full and new moon

The residents of the coastal areas in Odisha’s Ganjam district are now facing the threat of sea erosion.

Coastal erosion in this region increases after the onset of the monsoon and aggravates when full and new moon days near. As the full moon is on August 15, tidal waves are threatening the landmass in several coastal human habitats of the district.

According to Ramayapatna area residents, in the last three days, extreme high tide had washed away houses of six families as well as the community hall in this village under Chikiti block. Several coconut trees have also been washed away by the sea. Ramayapatna had faced similar erosion in 2016.

Beach gone

The destructive action of sea has also increased at the Gopalpur beach resort and has eaten away a large portion of its sandy beach. The erosion is also threatening the existence of four villages of the Aryapalli panchayat in Ganjam district.

A team of engineers of the Water Resources Department visited the eroding coast of Ramayapatna on Monday to assess the situation and chalk out remedial plans. In 2006-07, the Gopalpur civic body and the Berhampur Development Authority (BeDA) had proposed a project to save the Gopalpur beach resort, but it has not materialised yet.

Around 15,000 people of Aryapalli panchayat — Sana Aryapalli, Bada Aryapalli, Koturu and Kandara Aryapalli — said sea erosion started after the Gopalpur Port authorities built a two kilometre-long breakwater to its south.

Little space

“With it, the erosion increased in the northern region, where the villages are located. The boundary wall of the Marine police station at Bada Aryapalli also has been washed away,” said Ganjam District Fishermen’s Union president B. Simadri.

According to him, around 500 metres of coast has been eaten away by the sea in the past few years, leaving little space for them on the coast to park their boats or for other activities like drying fish.

Since 2016, fishermen of the Aryapalli panchayat have been urging the State government and local authorities to save their villages. As many as 142 families of Podampeta village had to be shifted to other places because of severe sea erosion in 2007.

Construction on coast

The Odisha Marine Resource Conservation Consortium blames constructions on the coastline like the breakwater of the Gopalpur Port for the rise in coastal erosion. OMRCC coordinator Mangaraj Panda said the government should immediately take measures to save life and livelihood of fishermen of these coastal villages. According to him, regular sand dumping can immediately check the erosion.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2019 4:03:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sea-eating-into-ganjam-coast/article29088204.ece

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