The newly installed tetrapod-based seawall seems to have brought much needed relief to the residents of sea erosion-prone Chellanam in Ernakulam district during the latest episode of rain fury.
Areas, which used to get flooded by the marauding waves over the last many years, remain more or less protected since the monsoon intensified.
Expanding the scope
Buoyed by the success, the State government is planning to expand the project across similarly threatened coastal areas across the State. Coastal conservation works worth Rs. 344 crore are now underway in Chellanam.
The construction of seawall using tetrapod seemed to have helped to secure the stretch between Chellanam harbour and Puthanthodu from the threat of sea erosion. Tetrapod are being laid on a 2.50 meter foundation of granites and at a height of 6.10 metre from the sea level.
Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society is engaged in the production of tetrapod based on the study conducted by the Chennai-based National Centre for Coastal Research. Tetrapod weighing two tonnes and five tonnes are being made. So far, 20, 235 tetrapod have already been produced using 3.50 lakh metric tonne boulders.
The project is being supervised by the Anti Sea Erosion Project Management unit under the irrigation department.
The aim is to complete the construction of 7.32-km-long seawall before April 2023. So far, 40% of the work has been completed. The construction of walkway along the areas where the seawall construction has been completed will resume after the monsoon. A three-metre-wide walkway will be laid over the tetrapod seawall along 6.60 km in the first phase.
Plans are also afoot to launch the second phase production of tetrapod alongside the first phase. Project estimate for the second phase is being drawn up. Once both the phases are completed, about 10 km of the coastal stretch will be protected.
Tetrapod seawall will be constructed in areas including Kannamaly in the second phase.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had inaugurated the project on June 11. However, works were launched even before that. The first phase construction will cover the stretch between Chellanam fishing harbour and Puthanthodu beach along the northern side. Besides, six network of groynes are also being erected along the Chellanam Bazar area.