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West Bengal: Hungry tides of the Sundarbans: How the rising seas create environmental migrants November 26,2019   |  Source: The Hindu

How many times have you rebuilt your house?” Sujit Mondal does not answer at first; he just gazes at the deceptive calm of the river he has to cross by boat to reach his home in Ghoramara. The 44-year-old resident of the sinking island of the Sundarbans archipelago has clearly been asked this question more times than he can count. Finally he answers: “At least four”. Tucked under Mondal’s arm are several metres of neatly rolled net tarpaulin. He has bought it for ?1,800 to cover the betel leaf trees he had planted a few weeks ago. He places it in his old mechanised boat. During the half-hour journey to his house, Mondal speaks of storms, particularly Cyclone Aila that wreaked havoc in the region in 2009. Tourists, journalists, researchers and climate watchers have all told him that the next cyclone will have a devastating impact on the quickly eroding island, Mondal says.

Ghoramara, a sinking island

The ravages of monsoon are visible as the boat reaches Ghoramara. On a thatched hut hangs a green board that reads ‘Ghoramara Ferry Ghat’. The board is the only constant on the island; everything else is always changing. In fact, every year, with houses and acres of land being swallowed by a hungry sea, the topography of the island alters. The total area of

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