Engineering solution might be sought by opting for structural intervention in select areas to arrest beach erosion along the Visakhapatnam coast. The high-power committee set up by the State Government under the chairmanship of senior IAS officer M.T. Krishna Babu is now exploring various short- and long-term measures to tackle the problem, which caused panic following unprecedented beach surge causing breaching of the beach road.
Sources told The Hindu that the committee after several meetings involving experts from National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai and National Institute of Oceanography would explore pros and cons of opting for dyke and rigid hydraulic structure (groyne) to combat the threat of coastal erosion. For going for such structures, permission from Ministry of Environment and Forests has to be obtained.
A study revealed that shoreline retreated by 30 to 40 metres since 2005 near the Submarine Museum. Along with this, NIOT had recommended nourishment of the beach after attributing severe beach erosion to frequent formation of systems in the Bay, human intervention through rise in constructions on the beachfront and rise in mean sea level and tectonics.
The Visakhapatnam Port Trust is also getting ready to undertake beach nourishment by engaging a dredger. “Whatever is excavated at Sand Trap between Dolphin’s Nose and South Breakwater, we will fill the eroded beach at the Submarine Museum for the first time,” Mr. Krishna Babu told The Hindu.
The port, which has been taking up nourishment every year, hitherto nourished only near RK Beach since 1970s. Due to severity of erosion last year and this year, the port management decided to nourish near the Submarine Museum.
Visakhapatnam Port is likely to spend Rs.9 crore in excavating 2.5 lakh cubic metres of sand deposits and pump it near severely eroded beach at Submarine.