Beach erosion has been a regular phenomenon in coastal belts. However, with every passing year, the threat has assumed dangerous proportions in the Puri-Konark coast with the sea devouring major portions of land, beaches and roads along the coastline.
Due to strong current of the sea, the three-kilometre road from Maa Ramchandi Peeth to Kusabhadra river mouth and Chandrabhaga beach has been covered with sand damaging the embankment and flora alongside the road.
Environmentalists and locals fear that if the district administration did not take steps to prevent the erosion, the entire area will be eroded by the sea.
Sunil Nayak, a local resident said, “The sea condition has remained rough since the last six months. The waves have engulfed major portion of land between Ramchandi and Chandrabhaga beaches. Roads have also been washed away. The water level near the eco-retreat site ranges from 5 feet to 40 feet. The wall constructed along the sea to guard the coastline has suffered damages,” he stated.
“The strong sea waves have eroded the dunes at the Chandrabhaga beach and seawater is even touching road in some places. This has destroyed the beauty of the sand dunes at the beach,” said another resident, Sunil Panigrahi.
Environmentalists observed that global warming might be the reason behind the tidal ingress into the Puri-Konark beach, which was once a major attraction for tourists.
Meanwhile, Sarat Chandra Panigrahi, a retired IIT Kharagpur profession suggested that the government should study the conditions and take adequate measures to prevent the phenomena.
On the other hand, Samarth Verma, Puri District Collector said that steps will be taken to prevent the devastation brought in by the marauding sea.
“The effect of climate change cannot be denied and it is clearly visible in coastal areas. The district administration is analysing the condition and planning to take up measures to strengthen the coastal belts. The work in this regard will be taken up soon,” assured Verma.