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Of the total coastline of India (7517 km), that of the peninsula is 6100 km between the peninsular plateau and the sea. The peninsular plateau of India is flanked by narrow coastal plains of varied width from north to south.
On the basis of the location and active geomorphologic processes, these can be broadly divided into two parts:
We now take them up one by one:
1. Extent: The Western Coastal Plains are a thin strip of coastal plains with a width of 50 kms between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats.
2. Subdivisions: Extending from the Gujarat coast in the north to the Kerala coast in the south, the western coast may be divided into following divisions:
Note: Kutch and Kathiawar, though an extension of Peninsular plateau (because Kathiawar is made of the Deccan Lava and there are tertiary rocks in the Kutch area), they are still treated as an integral part of the Western Coastal Plains as they are now levelled down.
3. A coastline of submergence: The western coastal plains are an example of submerged coastal plain. It is believed that the city of Dwaraka which was once a part of the Indian mainland situated along the west coast is submerged under water.
4. Characteristic Features:
1. Extent: The Eastern Coastal Plains is a strip of coastal plain with a width of 100 – 130 kms between the Bay of Bengal and the Eastern Ghats
2. Subdivisions: It can be divided into two parts:
3. A coastline of emergence: The eastern coastal plain is broader and is an example of an emergent coast.
4. Characteristic features:
Now that we are done with this part, let’s try to attempt some questions from the past UPSC examinations:
Question: Assertion (A): The eastern coast of India produces more rice than the western coast.
Reason (R): The eastern coast receives more rainfall than the western coast.
Ans. C (Assertion is right but reason is wrong)
Question: Assess the significance of coastal regions in the economic development of India. (2009/ 15 marks)