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Bay of Bengal will devour Paradip a port town in Odisha. (Forecasted by Nasa)

US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has warned Paradip a port town of Odisha is going to devour in Bay of Bengal by the end of the century. In fact it has reported that 12 Indian coastal town are at the high risk of getting submerge in the ocean.

Humble abode of about 80,000 people, Paradip is a maritime hub of eastern zone of the country. Its resources offers people their end meet. The prediction has sent a shock wave among its natives as their lives, infrastructure and economy are in stake.

It’s not any breaking news for them. The coastal region is experiencing ocean floods since some time but the intensity and frequency has three folded since two decades. Now the marching sea has created a menacing fear in people.

Reason behind the inevitable catastrophic disaster  

*Paradip and its coastal belt was covered with the thickly mangrove forest till 1950s. In 1960s the government decided to build the port and the denuded the forest. Since then ocean is slowly eating its land. Mangrove forest is natural fort that saves land from the sea erosion. It acts like a shock absorber and reduces the force of high tides to rush into the land.

Instead of recreating mangrove forest government stone-packed the sea side areas to check, the port area from erosion. But the sea wall aggravated the erosion problem, the ocean trickled into the eastern side villages. Every year the coastal belt is facing some disasters, the effect could have lessened by mangrove forests. 

*Another reason is up surging ocean. Due to unprecedented global warming the glaciers are melting at a faster rate.  The Himalayan glaciers are too melting and the water is hastening to the Bay of Bengal which is leading frequent ocean flooding in the coastal regions.  The temperature will rise by 1.5 degree Celsius in next two decades which will spur the effect of disaster in the coastal region.

 The foundation stone which laid by then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, on January 3, 1962, was at four kilometres distance from the sea which is now just two feet away to sink into it. The present scenario is prophesy of looming threat over many industries, two colossal fertiliser plants and oil refinery subsequently it will lead to crash in economy and employment.

The analysis of Nasa has confirmed that Paradip will dip under 1.93 feet of sea water. Beside that Vishakhapatnam in Andra Pradesh, Kochi in Kerla, Kidropore in West Bengal along Bay of Bengal and Mumbai in Maharastra, Okha in Gujurat, Kandla, Bhavnagar, Mormugao in Goa, Mangaluru in Karnatak, Chennai and Tuticorin in Tamilnadu along the Arabian Sea are at high risk.

We still have time in hand to chalk out efficient action plans to mitigate the effect of upcoming disaster. But this time the strategies should be in sync with nature not against it. We can’t rule over nature but we can coexist with harmony.

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