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As the management of coastal hazards such as sea erosion is a multidisciplinary, multi stakeholder subject, many ministries and government departments at national and state level have undertaken/planned projects to manage and mitigate sea erosion and tried reducing the vulnerability of communities by securing their livelihoods. Still, a huge gap exits in covering all the vulnerable coastal areas and reaching out to all the coastal communities having diverse geophysical and socio-economic settings. So here sea erosion becomes severe due to several construction activities by humans that are taking place along the sea.

Government Projects on construction of seawalls, Breakwaters, Construction of two offshore reefs (North reef and South reefs) on the estuary, where the Netravati river meets the Arabian Sea. Government interference as an attempt to protect the coastline has appeared to come up as a “response to prevent sea erosion problem” of Ullal and its adjoining Wards, for which the project has got huge funding of about Rs. 490 Crore from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as reported by the local community and some State Actors. Soon after building breakwaters at the mouth of the Netravati and Gurpur rivers in 1994, the beach along the southern breakwater started getting eroded.

“Government agencies started dumping granite boulders to form a seawall as a protective measure. But the erosion only worsened”. In fact, these structures have further enhanced erosion on the beach of Ullal and have also shifted erosional sites towards Southern areas of Someshwara and Udupi beach resulting in ecological imbalance of the Beach Ecosystem. It has even further complicated the situation. Other human activities which have led to further loss of the Sand dunes are dredging, illegal sand mining and sand extraction which have contributed to or caused much coastal erosion in India. Seawall construction has caused beach scouring as well.

Human societies adapt to environmental hazards through a process of cooperation, learning, and development. Likewise, this environmental issue of Coastal Erosion needs a sustainable blending of technology with environment, The equity over natural resources can help in preventing human-induced activities that have tried to meddle with nature by carrying out risk-involved construction projects in the Sea which is contributing to disrupting the ecological balance of the beach ecosystem of which Coastal Erosion is a live example. Hence, For restoration of beach ecosystem of Ullal, traditional and indigenous knowledge of the local community is required to be used in technological innovations along the Coastline for which Social capital among the diverse communities of Ullal needs to be redeveloped and the feeling of fear, mistrust and insurgency needs to be discarded from the Ullal society which is the leading cause of structural issues prevailing there.

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Karishma Raj

About Karishma Raj

Karishma is a Post Graduate from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and a Social Science Researcher. After completing her master’s in Sociology, she is currently into Disaster Management and is writing a Thesis on Climate Change effects on internally displaced Migrant Workers in Delhi. She has covered Arts, Disaster-Tourism, Eco-travel, Public relations and Community Interaction Practices in diverse settings. She has experience of working with hazard affected Communities in the Challenging Environment of Droughts and endangered areas of Sea erosion. She is an greenubuntu evangelist and author.
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