Engages a dredger of Dredging Corporation of India
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Port Trust launched beach nourishment work near the Ramakrishna beach on Monday adopting a new technique to remove sand and silt to arrest erosion.
VPT engaged a dredger belonging to Dredging Corporation of India to take up four lakh cubic meters of nourishment over a period of one month by paying at the rate of Rs.25 lakhs to Rs.30 lakhs per day.
Sources told The Hindu that sand collected by the dredger would be placed further north west of Coastal Battery through a floating pipeline for the first time from this year. The VPT has been spending on an average Rs.6 crores every year on nourishment. After the construction of Outer Harbour in early 1970s, nourishment was taken up as a regular feature during February/March on expert advice. The VPT built a sand trap to collect sediment water near the Dolphin’s Nose. Following tsunami and massive boom in constructions along the picturesque 30-km long marine drive between Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam.
Environmentalists pressed alarm bells last year when the shoreline reduced and the sea surged into Peda Uppada and other fishermen habitations on the coast. Waves also had pushed two bunkers used during World War to the shore raising a debate whether it is an indication of global warming phenomena. Some also said construction of a satellite port at Gangavaram could be the cause.Erosion takes place during the southwest monsoon and regular monitoring of sand pumping is necessary to arrest shrinking of shore area, says K.V.S.R. Prasad, head of the Department of Oceanography and Meteorology in Andhra University. Northern side of the harbours that have come up between Paradip and Chennai with breakwater structures, erosion has remained an issue of serious concern for the experts and environmentalists.
Prof. Prasad says the private port has created breakwater protection near Dibbapalem to stop erosion and basing on threat perceptions, it should take up nourishment after the port becomes operational.