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Coast Faces Saline Ingress

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has taken up several remedial measures, in order to arrest saline ingress in the coastal zone which is benefitting the areas.

According to officials, a pilot project for arresting saline ingress and artificial recharge of ground water in parts of Basudebpur and Chandbali Blocks of Bhadrak District was carried out by Central Ground Water Board(CGWB) with a view to control salinity ingress in the creeks and artificial recharge of ground water.

They said various systematic measures are taken up to arrest saline ingress in Odisha.

The State Government has taken up construction of a saline embankment of the Bay of Bengal and adjacent to the river mouths.

Similarly, construction as well as renovation of creek irrigation projects with construction of control structures to check the salinity ingress in command State Government has taken up construction of sea wall at vulnerable reaches of the coast-line to check the inundation of the adjoining areas from the storm surge.

Construction of different types of structures like control sluice, in-stream structures and the works undertaken had resulted in arresting salinity ingress mainly by impounding and recharging fresh water.

The stored and recharged fresh water has also generated assured irrigation in adjoining areas, officials say.

The union Government  is playing the role of a catalytic agent and providing technical support as well as in some cases partial financial assistance in terms with the existing schemes being implemented by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

The Union Government has also conducted studies regarding salinity ingress in coastal areas by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) Secondly CGWB is generating ground water quality data on a regional scale during various scientific studies and ground water quality monitoring throughout the country.

These studies indicate the occurrence of high salinity beyond the BIS permissible limits in isolated pockets and in parts of coastal areas in the country.

High salinity has been reported in parts of 47 coastal districts in 10 States and Union Territories of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar and Daman & Diu.

An Inter-disciplinary Technical Committee chaired by Chairman CWC has studied the problem of salinization of land along the coast in a scientific manner and submitted its report.

The report deliberates in detail the occurrence of coastal land salinity and its impact in States and UTs of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry.

The report has been circulated to various stakeholders in all coastal states and these states have adopted various types of remedial measures like construction of check dams, recharge wells, recharge tanks, spreading channel, embankment, salt water exclusion dam, surface dykes etc. to check salinity, the officials said.