Repairs, strengthening of Ennore structure to be completed by March

In an attempt to shield the shoreline along Ennore Expressway and save fishing hamlets from the impact of sea erosion, work to repair and strengthen the seawall along the stretch has been expedited.

The project to repair and raise the height of the seawall, a formation of boulders running parallel to the shoreline, for a distance of 5 km between Netaji Nagar and Nettukuppam was started in last October. The Water Resources Department (WRD) has so far completed 45 per cent of the Rs. 26.58-crore project.

Boulders are being transported from places such as Chettipunniyam near Chengalpattu and Uthiramerur for the seawall. “We are raising the height of the seawall from four metres to six metres. We will complete the work by March,” a WRD official said.

Residents of various fishing hamlets near Ennore creek want the WRD to cover the entire stretch up to the creek with either a seawall or groynes, which run perpendicular to the shoreline and help reduce the intensity of wave action, to protect their areas from the rough sea.

Kuppuraj of Thalangkuppam said groynes would serve the purpose better. “Finger jetties would help prevent sea erosion on a long-term basis and help us continue with our fishing activities. The WRD has pushed the existing boulders of the old seawall into the sea and is stacking new boulders. We want the work to be completed soon,” he said.

Of the 19-km long Ennore Expressway, National Highways Authority of India and Tamil Nadu Road Development Company have covered a five-km stretch from Kasimedu with the seawall or groynes. The WRD is maintaining the shoreline from Bharathiyar Nagar to Ennore creek, a distance spanning six km.

Officials of the WRD said that the process is on to provide groynes at 10 places in the four-km stretch between Ernavoorkuppam and Ennore creek. “We have to get environmental clearance from the Central government for the Rs. 31.82-crore project. We plan to start work by March,” an official added.

The portion near the Ennore creek not covered with a seawall will now be provided groynes. The project will be completed in ten months.

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