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Beach nourishment taken up on a bigger scale

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Mega effort: The sand released by a dredger as part of beach nourishment by Visakhapatnam Port creating a makeshift island near RK beach in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
Mega effort: The sand released by a dredger as part of beach nourishment by Visakhapatnam Port creating a makeshift island near RK beach in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

Santosh Patnaik

Erosion aggravated after the construction of another port, says expert

About Rs.5 cr to Rs.10 cr is spent on beach nourishment every year: VPT

Due to beach nourishment, beach front could be made fit for big events

VISAKHAPATNAM: Concerned over sea erosion and to arrest the backward march of the sea, Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has launched beach nourishment on a bigger scale.

The annual exercise being taken up as a corporate social responsibility since 1970s is undertaken on a larger scale this time. The phenomenon was witnessed after the development of Outer Harbour in the 1970s as the beach north of Visakhapatnam Port had erosion in waves, current action. An expert from Andhra University said erosion aggravated after the construction of another port in the neighbourhood of the man harbour.

The assistance of Pune-based Central Water & Power Research Station (CWPRS), a premier research institute, is taken to study the success of the project.

Visakhapatnam Port is the only land-locked port along the East Coast. About Rs.5 crore to Rs.10 crore is spent on beach nourishment every year to ensure maintenance of natural beach equilibrium, a senior VPT official told The Hindu.

Dredging

The amount of dredging by engaging Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) depends on sand accumulation in the ‘sand trap' located near the toe of the Dolphin's Nose Hill in the Outer Harbour. An average 0.25 to 0.40 million cubic metres of sand gets deposited during different seasons due to littoral drift process and wave characteristics of Visakhapatnam, studies revealed.

The old system to shift dredged material and dump it at the designated area at a distance of 20 km from the shore on the recommendation of CPWRS has been stopped. The earlier assumption was that the same sand would get drifted through waves to the shore from the Coastal Battery to the Palm Beach.

As it is a long process, it was dispensed with. With the help of latest dredgers dredged material is deposited near the shore using rainbow type vessels so as to enable the same on the shore to build up the width of the shore instantly between the Coastal Battery and the Palm Beach.

The official said due to regular beach nourishment, the beach front could be made fit for big events like Navy Day, Visakha Utsav, beach volley ball and Sivaratri.

He said out of 11 major ports in the country, only VPT was contributing to nourish the beach and promotion of beach tourism.

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