Andhra Pradesh

Sudden sea surge sets alarm bells ringing

A part of a footpath that caved in under the impact of a high tide near Kursura Submarine Museum in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. Photo: K.R. Deepak

A part of a footpath that caved in under the impact of a high tide near Kursura Submarine Museum in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. Photo: K.R. Deepak  

A part of footpath on the Beach Road near the Kursura Submarine Museum collapsed on Saturday due to high tides and massive beach erosion.

Erosion has been causing panic among scores of people frequenting the beachfront for the past few days.

After senior engineers from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority inspected the area, Commissioner GVMC M.V. Satyanarayana consulted experts of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and professors of AU and decided to adopt a two-pronged strategy to arrest erosion undertake permanent measures in two to three months. Mr. Satyanarayana said they had decided to construct a geo-grid to stop immediate erosion. In two to three months, geo-tubes for shoreline protection would be installed as a permanent measure, he stated.

The exact reason for the sudden sea surge has become a subject of debate. While some say the method followed for building Kursura museum, the first submarine museum of South Asia, could be the reason, scientists of NIO, Visakhapatnam Regional Centre contend that it could be due to impact of cyclones Phailin, Helen and Lehar. When contacted, Principal Scientist in-charge of NIO V.S.N. Murty said the damage caused to the footpath is an offshoot of continuous erosion caused by cyclones hitting the Bay in quick succession during 2013.

GITAM University president and former MP M.V.V.S. Murthi alleged that massive construction in the outer harbour aggravated the problem and sought a grant of Rs.100 crore by Visakhapatnam Port to protect the beachfront.

To prevent onlookers thronging the area, the authorities cordoned off the area as the threat of the remaining extent of the footpath caving in loomed large.

Residents of the area expressed concern over the rapid erosion and sought curbs on construction on the beachfront. “Now the time has come to strictly enforce Coastal Regulation Zone restrictions,” J.V. Ratnam, an environmental activist, said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 5:32:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/sudden-sea-surge-sets-alarm-bells-ringing/article5646337.ece

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