Plan to pump four lakh cubic metres of sand
Visakhapatnam Port Trust is all set to launch beach nourishment in the most vulnerable areas.
The nourishment became a subject of heated debate following collapse of footpath near Kursura Submarine Museum following sea surge, which some of the experts attribute to severe soil erosion and cyclonic storms like Helen, Lehar and Phailin which hit the coast in quick succession in 2013.
“We are set to pump four lakh cubic metres of sand this time in the areas being identified vulnerable,” VPT Deputy Chairman G.V.L. Satya Kumar told The Hindu. Asked whether this time the nourishment would be concentrated on the Coastal Battery side or the beach near Kursura Submarine Museum, he said “it will be nourished in areas found most vulnerable.”
Mr. Satya Kumar said due to cyclones and construction of Gangavaram Port in the neighbourhood, the deposits in the ‘Sand Trap’ had come down over past few years.
On beach erosion, he said VPT, VUDA, GVMC and other local agencies were in touch with experts of Pune-based Central Water and Power Research Station and IIT-Madras to find out exact reasons which led to road cavity and fall of retaining wall on the beach footpath and take remedial measures.
VPT has been undertaking capital dredging in the ‘Sand Trap’ extending over three to four km between the sunken ship and south breakwater. VPT launch ‘Nirmal’ procured with Dutch assistance studies depth of seabed to locate the vulnerable areas before launching nourishment.
A senior official said on an average Rs. 20 crore would be spent on annual beach nourishment by engaging Dredging Corporation of India.
VPT has not done beach nourishment beyond Coastal Battery since it launched the annual exercise of fighting erosion by filling the excavated sand about 15 years ago. There has been a demand in some quarters to undertake nourishment near Kursura Submarine Museum.