State nod for ₹344-crore coastal protection work in Chellanam

The rains have stopped and flood waters have receded and life must go on for Chellanam residents, who face the task of clearing massive amounts of debris, sand and waste materials that have washed into their homes.   | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

The State government has accorded administrative sanction to work worth ₹344 crore for coastal protection in Chellanam, which has been identified as a “hotspot” of sea erosion in Kerala.

The government plans to introduce coastal protection measures along the entire Kerala coast, but priority has been given to Chellanam considering the intensity of the problem in the panchayat. A meeting of engineering and other experts convened by the Chief Minister earlier this year had decided to explore various options, including the use of tetrapods for coastal protection.

The order giving administrative sanction for the works in Chellanam said “robust measures of coastal protection like use of tetrapods for seawall needs to be explored”. The government has said it will be exploring long-term and short-term measures as well as soft and hard solutions to solve the problem of coastal erosion.

The Irrigation Design and Research Board (IDRB) has been entrusted with the task of carrying out the work worth ₹344 crore. The National Centre for Coastal Research was involved in preparing a design for the coastal protection structure and making an estimate of the expenses.

The redesigned structure suggested by the IDRB includes a diaphragm wall supported by tetrapods. The rebuilding of damaged or sunken walls for a segment of 10 km along the Chellanam coast will cost about ₹254 crore and another ₹90 crore will be spent on erecting groyne field in the Bazaar and Kannamali segment of the coast.

A total sum of ₹1,500 crore has been earmarked in the State Budget 2021-22 for coastal protection measures. The State has also identified 10 hotspots of sea erosion along its coast. The fund for coastal protection work, including the ones being undertaken in Chellanam, will come through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

A team of engineers with experience in coastal protection work will be constituted to oversee the work being implemented through the IDRB as the special purpose vehicle.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 10:01:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/state-nod-for-344-crore-coastal-protection-work-in-chellanam/article35667710.ece

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