India tourist map. But the disappearance of flora and

India is the seventh largest country in the World
which covers about 1/3rd of the northern hemisphere and 1/6th
of the eastern hemisphere. It consists of 30 states and 07 union territories
among which Odisha is one. Odisha is situated on the eastern coast of India
along the Bay of Bengal covering nature’s boundary of 482 km stretch of
coastline with wide beaches, beautiful casuarina forest and river estuaries in
its eastern side. Among its 30 districts 6 districts cover the coastal areas.
Puri is one among these 6 coastal districts. Our study area is the Puri
Municipal Area in the District Head Quarters of this district. This city is famous
for its golden beach and the sea water here is ideal for swimming and surfing.
Fine white sand, roar of the breakers rolling in from the Bay of Bengal and
countless devotees flocking the place for a purification dip are synonymous
with the Puri beach. The beach has continued to be a sacred venue for an
endless number of pilgrims coming to pay homage to Lord Jagannath. Apart from
being a beach resort, the region also boasts of a number of historical
monuments, temples, natural springs and varied flora and fauna. Because of its
scencic splendor the municipality has accorded it a place in the international
tourist map. But the disappearance of flora and fauna due to deforestation,
soil degradation and dumping of land-derived wastes in sea water have been
causing widespread pollution that also affects the development potentials of
the Puri Urban Region. That is why, it is a matter of utmost regional concern
and it needs proper study, assessment, analysis and multi-dimensional focus of
attention.

 

HISTORICAL
BACKGROUND

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Puri one of the
coastal districts of Odisha, is famous for its historic antiquities and
religious sanctuaries. It has a strong historical background beginning from 3rd
century B.C till date. This district has been named after its Head Quarters
Puri. The ancient name of this city was “Charitra” as mentioned by the Chinese
Piligrim Hiauen Tsang as Che-li-ta-lo. The importance of this town improved
when the temple of Lord Jagannath was constructed. Then this city became famous
as “PurusottamKshetra”. During Mughal Period this city became well known as “Chattar”.
This place is also known as “Purusottampoori”. Evidence found from many early
records of Britishers confirm that this town was known by the name “Pooree”. After
independence this place is well known as “Puri”. In this way the city has got
its name.

According to the
historical records, the early settlement at Puri started with fishermen
(Dhibars along the sea) and hunter-gatherers (Sabars) in the forests, later
settling in scattered agricultural villages. The town owes its birth and
existence to the temple of Lord Jagannath. The temple was constructed initially
by King Indradyumna. During the 10th century, king YayatiKesari (Yayati II of
Somavamsi dynasty) built the second temple on the same spot, as the first
temple by Indradyumna was dilapidated. King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva
(1174-1198 AD) of Ganga dynasty built the third or the present temple. He began
the construction of the present temple sometime after 1135 AD. The temple was
completed by his descendant and grandson Anangabhima Deva III. In the 9th
century AD, a major change occurred in Puri, as Acharya Shankar visited the
holy place and upgraded it to one of the four ‘Dhamas’.

PHYSICAL BACKGROUND

a.              
Regional Setting

i.                
Geographical Location

Puri is located
at 190 47′ 55″ N and 850 49′
55″ E along the eastern coast of India, on the shores of the Bay of
Bengal. The town is bounded on the east by the Bay of Bengal, on the South by
Mauza Sipasarubali; on the west by Mauza Gopinathpur; and on the north by Mauza
Balukhanda.

 

Base map

 

Puri town is connected
by broad gauze railway line with Khurda Road, an important railway junction on
the South East Railways connecting Howrah and Chennai. It is about 499 kms from
Kolkata and 468 kms, from Waltair. N.H.203 connects Puri with the capital city
Bhubaneswar. The Marine drive of 35 kms connects it with Konark, another famous
tourist attraction. Puri town forms a part of the littoral tract of Odisha
coastal plains. The general slope is from north-west to south-east. The built
up habitat is linear in character.

 

Locational
Map

 

ii.              
Morphology

The urban region is characterized
by featureless and flat alluvial plain and forms a part of the Mahanadi delta.
The general slope is from north-west to south-east intersected by local
undulations largely in the form of sand-dunes. Some rivers have failed to give
deltaic characteristics because of strong currents. Some part of Puri town, in so
far as built up habitat is concerned, is linear in character and is subjected
to inundation by river Bhargabi.

Generally in coastal
plains of Odisha three parallel belts can be distinguished. They are:

(a) The salt tract

(b) The plain arable
tract

(c) The sub-montane
tract

The salt tract is
narrow and stretches just beyond the shoreline for 5 to 6 kms. inland, where it
meets the sand dunes. The arable tract is a vast stretch of plains behind the
salt tract where monotony of the physiographic division is a special feature.
The endless stretch of paddy lands is its typical characteristics. The
sub-montane tract is the meeting zone of the dead level flat alluvial plains of
the delta and the escarpments of the Eastern Ghats. It can be termed as a zone
of transition. Puri City is located within the Salt track of this vast region.

iii.            
Geomorphological Characteristics

Odisha is a part of the
Gondwana landmass, one of the oldest and most stable land masses in the world.
The rock type found in this area is made up of Oilgocene, lower Miocene,
Pleistocene and Recent deposits. Recent rocks are the sedimentary rocks built
by the alluvial deposits of the east-flowing rivers and also by the marine
deposits of the Bay of Bengal. These are the youngest rocks and they provide
rich agricultural land. They emerged comparatively recently and bear the traces
of massive erosion.

Raised beaches and
sandstones are some of its prominent features. Underlying rocks in this area
consist of some form of metamorphic gneisses, while the overlying rocks consist
of laterites, older alluvium and recent riverine deltaic deposits.

iv.             
Slope

This said zone lying
between 0.1000 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) is the most eco-sensitive
zone in terms of environmental conversation and management because of its
physiographic and landscape characteristics. It is extremely important to check
further denundation of forest coverage not only for preservation of coastal
ecosystem but also to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the coast.

v.               
Shoreline Characteristics

Very limited data is
available based on only visual observation carried by various commercial ships
as reported by the Indian Meteorological Department. The average tidal range of
the coast is 2 meters. Near the shore surface currents seem to be parallel to
coastline. Heavy storms and cyclonic currents generally contribute to the
development of high rate of sedimentation in the area. The physiography and
major geomorphological features of this region are its various beaches. They
are as follows:

(a)       Beach at Baliapanda, Puri: The
beach is rather wide and the foreshore has a gradual slope. Sand dunes on the
back shore are not as high as in Balighai. Casuarina is the main plantation of
this beach. The beach sand indicates relatively high wave activity. According
to the observations of National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, the Sea has
receded by about 45 to 65 meters (150 to 200 feet) in the vicinity of Puri town
over a period of 85 years i.e. from 1889 to 1974.

(b)       Beach at Digabareni Khunti: Main
Beach is the major attraction of Puri for the tourists. It extends from
Digabareni to Swargadwar (approximately 3 Kilometers). Like Baliapanda Beach,
the Main Beach is wide and has a gradual slope. Sand dunes are not found
frequently. There is no casuarina forest found here. The beaches of the region
are quite extensive and generally very impressive with regard to scenic beauty,
sand composition, topographic characteristics, and surf. The extent of beach
areas offer a considerable variety in physical setting and environment.

The sand of the beach
is somewhat white, golden and fine. The beach typically slopes gently into the
ocean providing safe access to the water. Local fishing activities cause
considerable stinking smell because of the fishes left over on the beach. The general
temperature of water is ideal for bathing and swimming. Surf conditions are
generally attractive for board surfing. The water is also conducive for the
development of water sports like sailing, canoeing, fishing, shelling and water
skiing except during the monsoon season.

(c)       Beach At 
Penthakanta:  It
can be said that sea beaches in all these places are noted not to have been
subjected to severe erosion. Due to the receding of Sea, there has been
considerable increase in the width of the Beach. But the fishery group of
people occupied this beach for living purpose un-authentically for more than 50
years.

vi.             
Drainage

There is no river
within the Puri town. River Musa is a small river that goes along the northern
boundary of the town, which has gone through the Atharnala into the town. Now
this part of the river is dried-up and extinct. Only dried channel can be seen
through the city which was crossing the Badadanda (Grand Road) to fall into the
sea at Bankimuhana. Now the Bankimuhana portion of the river has been converted
into a drain.

vii.           
Soil

The soil of Puri is
transported soil on the basis of its mode of formation. There are mainly two
types of soil found in the town namely sandy soil and alluvial soil. Alluvial
soil is mostly found in northern and north-eastern parts of the town. But
remaining part is dominated by sandy soil which is favorable for cashew and casuarina
forest. PH values are high in the south of Puri. Textually there are mainly 4
types of soil namely:

1.              
Balia (Sandy Soil)

2.              
NunaMati (Saline Soil)

3.              
BaliaMatala (Rich Sandy Loam)

4.              
Dorasa (Admixture of equal proportion of
clay and sand)

viii.         
Land Use

In this map it is found
that most of the land is used in built up lands covering residence, government
and private offices, hotels, roads, religious places and slums. Some part of
the city is covered by some vegetation mainly of casuarina forest. This has
been shown in the land-use map of Puri.

b.     Climate of The City

The city enjoys an
equable climatic condition round the year. The cold season is from December to
February followed by the hot season from March to May. The period from June to
September is the monsoon season while October to November constitutes the post
monsoon transit period. Although the normal climatic condition of the town is
warm tropics type, the presence of sea makes a lot of difference. It maintains
a moderate temperature condition and the soothing cool breeze throughout the
year makes the weather pleasant.

i.                
Temperature

The average temperature of the area is around 250c
during April and May. Average minimum temperature is 220c which
drops to even 150c in December. But in the recent years temperature
varies drastically. Month-wise distribution of temperature is placed in table
number 3.1. It is found from the table that temperature the range of
temperature in 2016 was 22.50 C to 34.00 C and in 2017 is
found in between  22.50 C to
33.00 C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ii.              
Rainfall

The average annual
rainfall in the zone is between 130-140 c.m. More than ¾ of the rainfall is
received during the monsoon season. Months like April and May are marked by
sudden storms in the afternoon known as Nor’easters.

 

The period like May and
October-November experience cyclonic storms. Table 3.2 gives the month-wise
actual rainfall in Puri (in c.m). It is found from the table that the average
annual rainfall in recent years found decreasing than the usual annual rainfall.

 

 

iii.            
Humidity

Relative Humidity is
high throughout the year in the coastal areas. It ranges from 80% of relative humidity
in December to 87% in July. During cyclones or depression periods it reaches
the saturation point.

iv.             
 Wind

Winds are fairly strong
in coastal regions in the summer and monsoon months. The winds generally
approach the shore from south and south westerly direction from June to
September. The wind speeds is less in post monsoon months and in the cold
season. The average speed varies from 50 to 100 kms / hr.

v.               
Special Weather Phenomena

Some special weather
phenomena like cyclonic storms and depressions originating in the Bay of Bengal
each year in post monsoon months pass through this district and its neighboring
districts. Such cyclones and depressions cause heavy rain and violent wind flow
in this place. Violent thunder storms occur in this place during these cyclonic
periods.

c.     
Flora
and Fauna of the City

The coastal stretch is
very rich in vegetation coverage. Sal (Shorea Robusta) constitutes the
principal species. Besides, what is generally found with it is Asan (TerminaliaTomentosa),
Bahara ( TerminaliaBelerica), Harida (TerminaliaChebula), Mahula
(Madhucaindica), Jamun (Eugenia Jamboana), Kendu (Diosphyrosmeloxylon), Piasal
(Ptrea carpus marsupium), Kasi (Bride liaretusa), Sidha
(HargestroemiaParvflora), Sishoo (Dalhergialatifolia), Bandhan (Ongelinia Dalbergiodes),
Kunbhi (CareyaArborea),  Kurum (Adina
Cordifolia), Mundi (Mitragyndparviflora), Kusum (ScheicheraTrijuga), and Sunari
(Cassia Fistula). The common shrubs are: rani dantakata
(Flemingiachappar),girala (Indigoferapullchella), Tor chtree (IxoraParviflora),
Kaucina (Diospyroussylvtica), Arkaula (MilletiaAutoculate), Siali (Bauhinia
vahli), Murdha (ButeaPaveriflora), and Atundi (CombreturDecandrum) are the common
climbers in the forest. The chief timber trees are: Sal (Shorea Robusta),
Piasal (PterocorpusMarsupium), Kurum (Adina Cordifolia), Sisso
(Dalbergialatifilia), Bandhan (Eugenia Dalbergiodes) and Asan
(TerminaliaTomentosa). The minor products of local importance are Harida,
Bhada, Amla, Kamalogundi, Sanaribark, Kochila, Broom Grass and Kendu Leaves.

The fauna found in that
area includes carnivores like Wild Cat, Fox, Bear, Hyena, Wild Dog and Jackals.
Other animals like Black Buck are common on the sea coast while Chital or
Spotted Deer are generally found in open jungle. The Game Birds of the area
includes Pea Fowl, Gray Partridge, Rain Botton, Bustard, and Bush Quail. Among
the fish patch, mugils are found in common besides prawn and crabs.

2.
THE SOCIO-CULTURAL BACKGROUND OF THE CITY

a.    
Caste

The
English word “caste” derives from the Latin word “Castus” which
means chaste, clean or pure. Its Spanish and Portuguese derivative is “casta”, which means, “race, lineage, or breed”
according to Oford English Dictionary. In India first the Social Caste
structure was based on “Varna”. But
later caste is mainly divided on the basis of occupation structure in a
hierarchical order. The caste system is a socio-cultural aspect of the
Puri town and it is akin to other areas of the state. There are 09 major
castes. They are Chasa, Brahmin, Bauri, Gauda, Sudra, Teli, Kewta, Gudia, Karan
and Khandayat (including of course the Kshatriya). Again each caste has further
subdivisions and groups.The above caste system was initially derived on the
basis of types of occupation during ancient times. Marriages also take place
within the members of each sub-group. Inter-caste marriages are not allowed.
The “Daitas” marry within their community.

b.    
Infrastructure
of the City

The area of Puri
municipality is about 16.32 sq. kms. and it stretches along the sea shore
measuring 6.59 kms. The following physical and social infrastructure is
available in the area.

c.     
Transport

Transport plays an
important role in the promotion of tourism. Puri is connected by both roadway
and railway networks. It is well connected with Bhubaneswar by NH-203. Other
towns are also connected with Puri. Puri has also direct railway connection
with important towns of the country like Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai,
Hyderabad and other towns are connected with Khurda Road and Bhubaneswar
station.

d.    
Water
Supply

Like other resort
towns, Puri largely depends upon underground sources of water. A large open
area near Sanskrit University provides the required underground water for Puri
town. In Puri town there are 03 overhead tanks at MarkandeswarSahi (2.2
gallons), Ghoda Bazar (1 lakh gallons), and TotaGopinath (1 lakh gallons). In
addition to these, there is also one underground reservoir (2 lakh gallon). The
hotels and guest houses have their own water supply system by use of pumps for
drawing ground water.

e.    
Sewerage
System

Physiographically the
entire city comes under a very gentle slope area which is less that 4 mts.The
Sewerage system in Puri city is very poor due to its gentle slope.All major
roads are dug for open drains. Waste water from major hotels are drained into
the sea by open drains along the beach flouting all aesthetic norms which
creates a very unhygienic environment. In rainy season the environmental
condition is worst.

f.     
Health
Facilities

The World Health
Organization (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, moral and
social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. In
these terms health is not just a medical matter to be left to the care of the
physicians. It is a social goal in the attainment of which community and
personal behaviors are equally important. In Puri city there is a good facility
of health care. There are 1 District Govt. Hospital, 1 Kamala Maternity Home, 1
Leprosy Hospital, 1 Ayurvedic college hospital and a number of private nourishing
homes and homeopathic Homes. Many poor people avail health care facilities from
these centers and can avail different treatment as per their need.

Source: Puri Municipality

Analysis of the above
table gives an idea about the availability of medical facilities in Puri. There
are 05 private nursing homes and a number of clinics also.

 

3.
DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF THE CITY

a.    
Population

Puri, being a uni-functional
religious town like other religious towns of India, experienced a very slow
growth. The population of the town reached one lakh in 1981 after a span of 80
years. The town experienced a negative growth from 1901 to 1931 and reached a
population size of almost same as of 1901 in 1951 and only after 1961 the
population increased mainly because of improvement in infrastructural
facilities with efforts of taking it up as an important tourist center. As per
1991 census report, the population of Puri city was 1,24,835 whereas as per
2001 census report of India, it had a population of 155,776 with the growth
rate of 23.6 per cent. During 1971-1981 the growth rate was 38.3per cent,
whereas it decreased to 27.11per cent in 2011 census.

A significant aspect in the town’s demographic
peculiarity is that its population seasonally increases manifold during the
festivals especially on the occasion of the car festival and during the pious
Indian month of Kartika.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
Statistical Abstract of Puri, 1997, Department of Economics and Statistics.

b.    
Sex
Ratio

Sex ratio is the basic
tool for the analysis of the composition of population. It forms a major part that
directly influences the married persons in a population and the birth rate. It
also determines the socio-economic and political structure of the population.
This is calculated as the number of females per 1000 males. The sex ratio of
Puri town is 1000:975 or 100:97. From the table -5 we can easily mark out the
sex rate variation and its decadal growth beginning from 1901-2001.

In the above table, it
is found that in 1901 the sex ratio was 902 which declined in 1911 to 733 which
speaks about a very poor sex ratio. To adjust this ratio to its previous
position it takes around 9 decades and it reaches to 917 in 2001 and increased
to 926 in 2011. Still the ratio is not a healthy one.

c.     
Literacy

The term literacy is
one of the very significant qualitative indicators of social development
associated with the economic development. It is the most vital instrument for
changing the socio-economic status of an individual and the society as a whole.
Education is considered as a revolution for bringing a new world and a
developed social system.

d.    
Occupation

The study of Economic
activities of people or labour force occupies an important position in the
field of population geography. The economic and social development of a nation
depends on the number of persons who are economically active, the quality of
their work and the regularity of their employment. The work force is divided
into different groups according to their working industries. This occupational
structure is mainly categorized by the census of India.