A consultation meeting of scientists, technical experts, representatives from Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry administration and NGOs was organized in Auroville (Tamil Nadu) on Saturday, November 3rd, 2007. The meeting was jointly organized by Auroville Coastal-area Development Centre (ACDC) and Pondicherry Citizens Action Network (PondyCAN).
Since the late 1980s the coast along the town of Pondicherry and the neighboring areas of Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu to the north has been eroding. In the last decade, the erosion has worsened and continues to progress northwards. Ten kilometers of the beach has completely disappeared and as the erosion to the north continues, about 30 km of coastline in Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu has been affected.
More recently, the process of erosion has accelerated and many traditional fishing communities have not only lost their livelihoods but also their homes.
Conclusions from the Meeting:
It was unanimously agreed by the experts gathered at the meeting that the cause of the erosion is the fishing harbour that was built at Aryiankuppam in 1989, which interferes with the littoral drift that results in the net movement of 0.5 million cubic meters of sand northwards each year. Badly planned groynes, built to protect rapidly disappearing fishing communities, have accelerated the erosion.