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Will the sea erase Tarkali from maps?

Tarkarli,one of the tourist spots of Maharashtra well-known for its long and narrow stretch of beach...

Written by Aaditi Jathar | Pune |
January 11, 2009 12:58:59 am

Tarkarli,one of the tourist spots of Maharashtra well-known for its long and narrow stretch of beach,could be submerged in a decade if no steps are taken to arrest sea erosion,a phenomenon which has gained acceleration after the 2004 tsunami.

Tarkarli village in Malvan taluka of Sindhudurg is just one of the six villages — others being Tambeldeg,Talasheel,Kalval,Devbaug and Navbaug — which are being affected by the same.

These revelations were made by Yogesh Pisolkar,who recently completed his PhD on sea erosion from the University of Pune. “Sea erosion has increased the depth of river Karli. Most villagers in Mobarwadi and Devbaug have already lost their land to sea,” he said.

Sashikant Keshav Samant is one such resident of Devbaug who lost half an acre of cultivable land. “In the 1970s,we were able to carry out fishing in the sea waters irrespective of high tide or low tide. Today,we can do so only during low tide as the sea water come as close as five to six metres from our house during high tide,” Samant said.

Pisolkar attributes three reasons to sea erosion — nature,tsunami and tourism,in that order. “The beaches turn tourist destinations and see a rise in construction activities,thereby compounding the problem,he said.

Though there are many attempts by the government to save Devbaug,most of them are temporary solutions. “The government is building small dams at places affected by sea erosion or distributing soil bags to villagers,” Pisolkar said. He,however,suggests plantation of Casuarina trees on the creek banks and upper areas of the beach and restrictions on construction activities would be more effective.

Pisolkar,who has been researching on beach and creek erosion since 1993,plans to discuss his research papers with the coastal engineers of Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS).

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