‘NIOT will take up restoration of coast on northern side of U.T.’

Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh on Monday said the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will take up the work on restoring the coast on the northern side of Puducherry in due course.

Interacting virtually from the Ministry of Earth Sciences office in New Delhi with scientists of NIOT, stakeholders and representatives of PondyCan, a non-profit organisation, over the beach restoration project as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Mr. Singh said NIOT was already seized of restoring the rest of the coast and this will happen in due course. If restoration of the Puducherry coast could be done, the rest could also be done.

Mr. Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken special interest in all these scientific endeavours including coastal issues. Efforts for restoring Puducherry’s lost beach began in 2009 and the task was accomplished in 2021. This itself showed the importance the government gave to the project, he added.

Complimenting NIOT for the project, he said this was the first ever such venture and a successful experiment. “NIOT has successfully proved how the beach could be restored. This unique experiment will be taken note in other parts of the country and the services of NIOT will be utilised to a greater extent. NIOT will also get visibility due to this initiative and will no longer be known as a Chennai-based institute. It now has a pan-India presence,” he said.

Dr. G.A. Ramadass, Director, NIOT, Chennai, said NIOT had the mandate to demonstrate technologies for ocean related issues. As a part of this mandate, environment and engineering groups studied the Indian coast for erosion due to man-made and anthropogenic reasons.

“We came out with site-specific solutions and demonstrated this technology at two places — Periyakuppam in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Puducherry lost its sandy beach 30 years ago and NIOT restored the beach with its intervention. The beach was created and this has given a boost to tourism. NIOT started the project in 2017 and completed it in 2018,” he said.

Probir Banerjee, Sunaina Mandeen and Aurofilio Schiavina, representatives from PondyCan thanked the Ministry for restoring the beach.

Mr. Probir demanded that the entire coastal stretch towards the north of Puducherry’s coast be restored on the lines of the Puducherry beach. This would be a classic and true model for the rest of the country, he said.

M.V. Ramana Murthy, Director, National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) and R. Suresh, Scientific Officer of NIOT, were present.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 8:22:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/niot-will-take-up-restoration-of-coast-on-northern-side-of-ut/article37059787.ece

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