Batpady sea erosion: Ports Department to get expert advice from CWPRS
Beach erosion has intensified at Batpady despite execution of ADB-funded Someshwara Beach Rejuvenation Project.
With the Asian Development Bank-funded Someshwara Beach Rejuvenation Project coming to and end and southern parts of the stretch in Batpady getting completely eroded, the Ports Department has decided to get technical guidance from the Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune, to prevent erosion.
The ADB-funded project was active for about four years during which a special unit of the department constructed ten groynes horizontally into the sea between Uchchila and Batpady. It also constructed two offshore reefs on the Uchchila-Batpady stretch. Both these structures were intended to break the velocity of waves and help beach rejuvenation. Close to ₹240 crore was said to have been spent on this project.
While beach erosion has considerably reduced on the Uchchila stretch where the groynes and one offshore reef were constructed, it has aggravated at the Batpady stretch where one reef was constructed. Local residents had been demanding the construction of two or three more groynes towards the Kerala border, which did not happen.
Executive Engineer of Udupi Division with Ports Department, Tharakesh Phayde told The Hindu that a team from CWPRS was expected to visit Batpady stretch this month-end or during the first week of October to study the encroachment and determine the reasons. CWPRS will also be asked to evaluate the impact of the beach rejuvenation project. Once the institute submits its recommendations, the department will take necessary action, he said.
Regarding the restoration of the Fisheries Road that has been eroded for about 500 metres towards Batpady endpoint, Mr. Phayde said the road does not fall under the Ports Department. After ascertaining which department owns the road, necessary action will be taken. Admitting that the erosion has severely affected local residents, Mr. Phayde said the beach protection work pursuant to CWPRS report should be able to protect the road once it is newly formed.
A senior engineer who worked in the ADB project, said the groynes and reefs should help reclamation of the beach. But the passing of one or two seasons is needed to get the desired results, he said, adding that groynes could prevent erosion at Uchchila stretch.