Height of existing structure along Ennore Expressway to be increased; will benefit fishing hamlets
Fishing hamlets that face a constant threat of being washed away every time the sea gets rough, may soon be saved.
The shoreline along the Ennore Expressway, which runs the risk of sea erosion, will be protected by a seawall.
The Water Resources Department (WRD) is awaiting a government order to start the Rs. 26.58-crore project to repair the existing seawall along the 5.5-m stretch of the Ennore Expressway between Tollgate and Ennore and construct groynes between Ennore and Ernavoorkuppam. The height of the seawall would also be raised up to four metres.
Once the government order is obtained, the department would seek the assistance of IIT-Madras and Anna University to construct groynes worth Rs. 31.82 crore. The institutions would have to study the behaviour of waves and provide detailed design for the groynes, which is a collection of boulders laid perpendicular to the shoreline at regular intervals, to control wave action.
Sources in the WRD said that the seawall would protect the shoreline from incursion of sea water into the fishing hamlets and the groynes would further reduce the intensity of wave action. The experts of these institutions would have to specify the location and intervals at which the 10 groynes need to be constructed to reclaim the shoreline.
An environment impact study will also be carried out, through a consultant, to obtain environmental clearance. Of the 19-km long stretch of Ennore Expressway, a large part of the shoreline from Kasimedu has been protected by the seawall. The stretch between Bharathiyar Nagar, Nettukuppam and Ernavoorkuppam would now be protected with groynes.
Recently, the WRD had completed a seawall worth Rs. 1.6 crore along nearly 240 metres at Nettukuppam, which was severely affected by seawater incursion last year. In about six months, about a 70 to 100 metre-long stretch of the shoreline has been reclaimed in the locality.
J. Vanitha, a resident of Nettukuppam, said the seawall had to be raised more to prevent seawater intrusion into the hamlets with a population of about 7,000. The construction of groynes would help residents of hamlets such as Chinna kuppam, Kasikoilkuppam and Burma Nagar to avoid the possibility of them being washed away.
“Many people have started visiting the beach that has been newly formed during weekends,” she said.
Officials of the WRD said that the project would be implemented with funds from National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development.