An inevitable speedy process of coastal erosion near Gilakaladindi Harbour has brought cheers on the face of hundreds of boat operators. The geographical change of erosion of the coast is considered as a sign of ecological imbalances, but it has become a boon for thousands of fisherfolk for having a safe voyage.
Physically, a Longshore or Littoral drift, consisting of the transportation of sediments along the coast at an angle to the shoreline, has been witnessed at the entrance of the sea from Gilakaladindi Harbour. The formation, which resembles a small sanddune amid sea waters, has cut off the water-way to enter into the sea and divided it into two channels.
One channel is completely covered with the sediments and sand while the rest is naturally kept open. Boats have to wait till necessary depth of water is available in the respective channel both to enter into the sea for fishing or returning to the harbour. The depth of water in the channel depends on the wind direction as well as tidal waves.
‘As the tidal waves are causing huge patches of erosion, the depth and width of the channel-1, adjacent to the coast, is increasing and the current depth here is not less than 20 feet’, say boat operators.
The first channel is suitable for navigation till September and after that the Littoral drift will slowly cover it with sand and sediments. Simultaneously, there would be no drift in the other channel which will be used for navigation of boats for the remaining period in the year.
Earlier, a few dozens of boats were wrecked due to heavy tidal waves as they were anchored on the sea before entering the drift channel.
Realising the damage, an exclusive guide-boat has been hired by the boat operators. “My sole duty is to observe the tidal waves and water levels at the drift channel to inform the boat operators about where and when they have to enter into the channel,” a boat operator Lamke Srinivasa Rao told The Hindu.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that the soil erosion at the channel was giving good depth of water level and expanding its width. The messenger’s job is mostly done over cell phone. When the depth of the channel-1 was less, the mechanised boats used to anchor at Nizampatnam in Guntur district or Narsapuram in West Godavari.