Tamil Nadu

Fearing erosion, coastal authority vetoes additional jetty at Vivekananda Memorial Rock

A file photograph showing a view of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari.

A file photograph showing a view of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari.   | Photo Credit: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

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The Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority has decided to request the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board to explore the feasibility of strengthening and expanding the existing jetty

The number of ferry services from mainland Kanniyakumari to Vivekananda Memorial Rock in Cape Comorin, is unlikely to go up any sooner, as the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA) has not granted permission for construction of an additional jetty at the tourist spot, fearing erosion. The waiting time to board a ferry in Kanniyakumari, the southernmost point of the Indian subcontinent, therefore, is likely to remain long.

“The project involves the construction of extension jetty besides a protective groynes for a length of 140 metres to protect the jetty from erosion and wave action and hence it is evident that there is the possibility of erosion due the additional new construction of the jetty,” a recent meeting of TNSCZMA noted.

The Authority has further decided to request the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board (TNMB), the project proponent to explore the feasibility of strengthening and expanding the existing jetty, without the formation of groynes, based on scientific studies.

The existing jetty at the Vivekananda Memorial Rock is 37 metres long and 8 metres wide. The TNMB’s proposal was to construct an additional jetty that is 100 metres long and 8 metres wide at a cost of ₹20 crore, besides groyne for a length of 140 metres.

The TNMB came up with the proposal so as to facilitate two ferries to berth at a time, which would eventually reduce the waiting time to board a ferry from mainland Kanniyakumari.

During peak season, there are at least 2,000 people waiting at the counter, when the counter closes at 4 pm for a day. Ferries to the Vivekananda Memorial Rock operate between 8 am to 4 pm. During tourist season, the queue at the counter extends to “about one to one-and-a-half km long.”

The Indian Port Association (IPA) has taken up steps to resolve the issue by extending the passenger jetty at Vivekananda Rock so that two more vessels can be berthed thereby increasing the number of ferry services and thus making more facilities for the people to visit the Vivekananda rock without much waiting time.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:05:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fearing-erosion-coastal-authority-vetoes-additional-jetty-at-vivekananda-memorial-rock/article30265471.ece

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