Hungry: 1,035 sq km of land. 1,200 villages. 300,000 people. Climate change and hungry seas are extracting a heavy cost in Gujarat.

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Concrete blocks are used on the beaches at Valsad to break the force of the tide and help trap sand in an effort to reduce the pace of erosion; photo by Aesha Datta

Synopsis

Known for its high economic development, Gujarat is in the middle of a growing environmental crisis. An abysmal lack of data and an attitude of denial threaten to aggravate it.

The year: 1986. The story: 1.2 million hectares of fertile land damaged by salinity across 779 villages. Fast forward about three decades, to 2014. Nearly 1,200 villages in the state are affected. Of them, 625 are completely saline. As you travel across the south of Gujarat, a state known for its high economic development, this is the line that follows you everywhere — the sea is eating up our land. Gujarat is among the Indian states most

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