APTDC plans to raise a retaining wall to prevent further erosion

Holiday-makers heading to the picturesque Bhavani Island nestling on the placid waters of Krishna river are crestfallen. A vast stretch of the play area where children have a rollicking time playing on the seesaws and swings is swamped by sand dunes that formed in the aftermath of the devastating floods of last October.

The massive deposits of sand particles brought on the island by the gushing river water have eroded the element of fun on the island, arguably the one and only sought-after destination around for vacationers.

The hopes of the Vijayawada division of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) to do some brisk business during vacation months lie shattered.

“The 6-7 feet high sand dunes are spread across the play area that attracts children. It is not possible to clear the sand deposits manually since we cannot afford to push them into the river,” explains G. Ramakrishna, Divisional Manager of the Corporation.

Permanent solution

Indicating a permanent solution to the problem, he talks of the proposed gabion wall that the APTDC plans to raise to prevent further erosion of the island. “We have already lost six to seven acres of the island to erosion and construction of a gabion wall is the only panacea to the issue,” he says.

A gabion wall is a retaining wall made of rectangular containers (baskets) fabricated of heavily galvanized wire, which are filled with stone and stacked on one another, usually in tiers that step back with the slope rather than vertically.

Besides stabilising the shorelines against erosion by raising a retaining wall that is estimated to cost Rs. 3.5 crores, the APTDC also plans to introduce more adventure sports like zorbing, the recreation of rolling downhill in an orb generally made of transparent plastic and dashing cars.

While Mr. Ramakrishna maintains that the project may take at least six months for completion, officials of the engineering wing involved in it insist that it is a time-taking process since the Centre will have to approve it before the APTDC can plan anything further.

The APTDC is also contemplating developing a beach resort at Manginapudi, similar to the one existing at Suryalanka.

“We have sought a stretch of 15-20 acres for the purpose and the district Collector has responded favourably to our plea,” he says.

Keywords: Bhavani Island

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