The coastal town of Ullal in the state of Karnataka is an important trading center in the southwestern region of India. However, the safety and livelihood of its communities are threatened by shoreline erosion. Introduction of environmentally appropriate hybrid solutions have helped counter this threat to ensure sustainable coastal protection and climate change-resilient infrastructure.


Ullal, India

The coastal town of Ullal in the state of Karnataka is an important trading center in the southwestern region of India facing the Arabian Sea. But shoreline erosion has been threatening the safety and livelihoods of its residents.

With support from the Asian Development Bank, the state government has implemented a sustainable solution to protect Ullal’s eroding coastline.

Rajesh Yadav
Project Officer
Asian Development Bank

The problem of coastal erosion at Ullal was quite acute. Communities were losing their land and property and port operations also faced a threat. The solution we designed was quite innovative. The realignment of existing breakwaters, construction of offshore reefs and onshore berms in tandem resulted in beach development and a stable shoreline.

Inlet breakwaters were realigned to ensure that sand from the river is driven toward the fast-depleting southern beaches. Two large artificial offshore reefs were constructed to create calmer zones where sand can accumulate. Groynes were built on shore for sand retention.

Krishnamurthy Kulkarni
Project Director and Additional Secretary
Department of Water, Ports and Inland Water Transport
Government of Karnataka

We are thankful to ADB for introducing new technologies and new planning approaches.The emphasis on softer and sustainable coastal protection solutions and involvement of local communities in the shoreline management plan are the important parts of this approach.

The sustainable, climate-resilient infrastructure has helped recover and further nourish the beaches helping protect those living on the coast.

Kenichi Yokoyama
Director General
South Asia Department
Asian Development Bank

I think this was a pioneering project to implement environmentally appropriate hybrid solutions combining hard and soft measures which are appropriate for Indian coastal protection and management. It also strengthens climate change resilience. Now, with the stable shoreline and beautiful sand beaches, more and more tourists have started to come to Ullal. This has provided local communities with enhanced opportunities for fishing and tourism. We hope that the positive outcome of this project will be replicated in other parts of India as well as in other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

By designing innovative interventions for sustainable shoreline management, the coast of Ullal is now better protected. The beaches are back, enjoyed by its residents and visitors.