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Shashi Tharoor urges government to build mitigating structures to combat sea erosion in Kerala

The few existing man-made barriers are grossly inadequate or crumbling, exacerbated by the dearth of fishing harbours, he said.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 11:13 IST

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New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor drew the government's attention on Monday to sea erosion impacting the economically and socially disadvantaged coastal communities in Kerala and demanded that a robust network of mitigating structures be built immediately to address the issue.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said he wanted to raise the issue in the Lok Sabha under Rule 377 but the Speaker "did not allow us to speak".

"The plight of our coastal communities deserves more attention than the government gives it," he said, posting a copy of the text he had laid.

Drawing the attention of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Tharoor said his constituency alone had lost more than 64 square kilometres due to coastal erosion.

"There is an urgent need to protect the coast through new and upgraded protective structures along the coastline ..." the text read.

"Every year, the monsoon amplifies the fury of the sea, devastating coastal areas in my constituency of Thiruvananthapuram, consuming beach fronts and destroying homes. The suffering fisherfolk communities, who have traditionally inhabited the coastline, are economically and socially disadvantaged, and their sustenance and livelihood are threatened," it added.

Tharoor highlighted the lack of seawalls to protect the coast, especially between Pozhiyoor and Poovar, and along the Valiyathura pier and the Valiyathura-Cheriyathura stretch.

The few existing man-made barriers are grossly inadequate or crumbling, exacerbated by the dearth of fishing harbours, he said.

The Congress leader said coastal erosion continued unabated despite the Union government's promise to enact mitigating measures through the Central Institute of Coastal Engineering of Fishery and the Pradhan Mantri Matsay Sampada Yojana, and his repeated parliamentary interventions on this issue in the past.

He urged the government to immediately build a comprehensive network of seawalls, groynes and fishing harbours to alleviate the anguish of the coastal communities and combat coastal erosion.

Tharoor said the government's expeditious action would safeguard the future of the fishing communities and prevent further loss of the Indian territory.

According to the Union environment ministry, varying degrees of erosion due to natural causes or anthropogenic activities impacted coastal communities residing in the erosion prone areas in some stretches of India's shoreline.

The National Centre for Coastal Research, an attached office of the earth sciences ministry, monitored the shoreline changes for the entire Indian coastline using multi-spectral satellite images along with field-surveyed data for the period 1990-2018.

It observed that 33.6 per cent of the Indian coastline was vulnerable to erosion, 26.9 per cent was under accretion (growing) and 39.6 per cent was in stable state.

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Published 01 July 2024, 11:13 IST

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