With several attempts, including building boulder walls along the beach, yielding little result in protecting the shoreline between Ullal and Batapady (Talapady), the Ports and Inland Transport Department has resorted to construction of groyens and offshore reefs on the stretch.
Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the Someshwara Shoreline Protection Project is part of ADB’s Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Programme Tranche 2. Following changes in the site condition, the Someshwara project underwent major design changes, from construction of geotextile revetment to construction of groyens, while that of offshore reefs was retained.
Sources in the department told The Hindu that, in all, 10 groyens would be built between Uchchila and Batapady as part of the package.
While the tender amount was ₹ 32 crore, lowest bidder (₹ 29.7 crore), Dharti Dredging and Infrastructure Ltd., was given the work order. Groyen is a structure made of boulders and tetrapod jetting horizontally into the sea from the beach for a pre-designed length.
The stretch between Uchchila and Batapady has witnessed extensive erosion in the last three-four years even as the connecting road was under threat of being eroded last year. Besides loss of hundreds of coconut trees and destruction of a vast extent of land, several houses and other buildings were either damaged or washed away during the continuous sea erosion.
Consequently, the department selected the most affected stretch near Batapady beach and construction of groyens is under progress at present.
As the sea is becoming rough with the likely onset of monsoon soon, construction of groyen is going on under stressed condition, sources said.
Two offshore reefs would be built about 1 km away from these groyens on the lines of those off Ullal, sources said. Tenders are yet to be finalised for reef construction, estimated to cost about ₹ 108 crore, they added.
The department is hoping that to prevent sea erosion while at the same time help nourish the beach with groyens and reefs on the lines of a similar project being executed at Maravanthe in Udupi district.