How not to save a coastline from erosion

Government agencies have been keen on building rock walls to protect India’s shores, but these structures fix one problem only to create another.

The city of Chennai is home to many monuments worth visiting. There’s the impressive Madras High Court building and the mysterious gateway-like structure on the Besant Nagar beach. But an even more interesting structure lies at the northern end of the city. 

To the north of the Chennai Fort railway station and the Chennai Port, where the road runs along the Bay of Bengal, several rock walls protrude from the coast and into the sea. Crashing against the brown-bronze rock, the waves turn into foam. The walls are spaced a hundred or so meters apart, looking like a giant bar …


Nihar Gokhale

Nihar Gokhale led the Chaos coverage at The Morning Context. Nihar wrote on the environment, the economy and resource conflicts in India. He has reported from across the country on everything from displacement, pollution and environmental violations to land regulation, corruption and human rights. He was earlier associate editor at Land Conflict Watch, and his work has appeared in Scroll, The Wire, IndiaSpend, The Caravan and Mongabay India.

Editor, Chaos