Last year, floods cut off Nettukuppam from the rest of the land mass

The fisherfolk of Nettukuppam in north Chennai are bracing for another possible cyclone havoc on Wednesday.

They are sure the waves will crash above the boulders placed along the coast and flood their village. “Last year, during cyclone Thane, we had to take shelter in a temple. The boulders that were washed away during the last two cyclones have not been replaced yet,” said T. Joseph a fisherman.

Last year, floodwaters had literally cut off Nettukuppam from the rest of the land mass as it made its way to the river (Ennore creek). The fisherfolk expect a similar scenario this time too.

Kalaivanan, another fisherman, said the Water Resources Department (WRD) has not completed the laying of boulders on the northern side of the village.

“Numerous letters to the department have not had any response. This year, the Corporation officials visited and warned us to remain alert. Our men are vigilant and will ensure there are no deaths. If the height of the boulders had been increased before the monsoon, we would have been better off,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, public works minister, K.V. Ramalingam, visited the coastline along Ennore Expressway along with WRD officials. He inspected the condition of the sea wall near Kasikoilkuppam and Nettukuppam. A senior official of WRD said that work to increase the height of the rubble mound seawall along Ennore Expressway would be taken up in two weeks.

The Rs. 26.58-crore project to increase the height of the seawall from 1.5 metres to 3.5 metres was cleared by NABARD recently. Repairing the sea wall along the six-km stretch between Tollgate and Ennore is necessary to tackle rough waves.

“We have taken steps to construct groynes near Nettukuppam. Priority will be given to vulnerable points along the sea wall,” the official said.

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