Dredging begins at Ennore estuary after five years; second phase to cover 1.45 km

Kamarajar Port Ltd. has allocated ₹135 crore to take up the dredging work at Ennore mouth; Water Resources Department is building a training wall to ensure smooth tidal action and for easy movement of boats

Published - April 03, 2023 08:23 pm IST - CHENNAI

The Water Resources Department has taken up dredging at the Ennore mouth as part of the project to ensure sustainable opening of the Ennore mouth.

The Water Resources Department has taken up dredging at the Ennore mouth as part of the project to ensure sustainable opening of the Ennore mouth. | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Work on the long-pending project to dredge the Ennore estuary has been taken up. The Water Resources Department has started the process to build a training wall at the mouth of Ennore to prevent sand deposit and flooding in areas upstream along the Kosasthalaiyar river.

The project for sustainable opening of the Ennore mouth remained on paper for nearly five years for various reasons, including want of funds and environment clearances. Dredging is expected to ensure smooth tidal action and easy movement of boats.

Officials said the dredged soil was deposited at the nearby spot for beach nourishment in the fishing hamlets. The Ennore estuary would be dredged to enable the mouth to be open for a length of 550 metres. The project is being implemented with an allocation of ₹135 crore obtained from Kamarajar Port Ltd. (KPL).

Every year, sand bars block a large extent of the mouth, which is the confluence point of the Kosasthalaiyar river and the sea and only temporary dredging was carried out for a minimal length before the onset of northeast monsoon.

In a bid to find a permanent solution for sedimentation, the department is building a training wall, which would guide the flow on either side of the river up to the estuary to ensure smooth tidal action and draining of floodwater during monsoon. While it would be 500 metres long on northern side, the training wall on the southern side would be 400 metres long.

“We are making precast tetrapods in a yard at Tiruvottiyur and transporting them to the site at Ennore. The training wall will be a combination of boulders and tetrapods to help withstand strong wave action and provide better access for boats,” said an official.

The department plans to take up dredging on the remaining distance of 1.45 km as recommended by the National Institute of Ocean Technology in the second phase. The project would be initiated once the KPL approved allocation of funds.

Second phase

The NIOT had recommended that the dilapidated pillars of a jetty needed to be removed for the measures to be effective. However, these pillars used for pipelines to Ennore Thermal Power Station in 1940s remain a hindrance at the estuary and funds are awaited from Tangedco to remove them, the officials said.

The issues of hot water used in thermal power plants being released into the creek and encroachment structures by thermal power plants without permission are yet to be addressed.

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