Shoreline protection project awaits govt. nod

May 03, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 03:42 am IST - CHENNAI

Groynes along Ennore Expressway will arrest sea erosion; delay has put a few villages at risk of inundation

A project to protect the shoreline along the Ennore Expressway devised five years ago is yet to be completed. The Water Resources Department is awaiting approval for the second phase of the project to construct groynes to arrest sea erosion.

Every year, nearly 18 fishing hamlets face stormy seas and inundation during the monsoon. Today, after a delay of many years, the stretch between Ennore and Thalangkuppam is dotted with 10 groynes, which are a collection of boulders laid perpendicular to the coastline.

However, the second phase of the project to cover the villages of Chinnakuppam, Periyakuppam and Ernavoorkuppam with nine such groynes at a cost of Rs. 39 crore is still awaiting the State government’s nod.

Sources in the WRD said the formation of groynes has helped in sand accumulation in U-shape along the shoreline for 3 m in the past one year. Sea erosion has also been minimised in the stretch.

But, the delay in implementing the second phase of the project has put some of the other villages at risk of inundation. Officials said fierce waves rising up to 6 m hit the stretch occasionally and the groynes have been designed to withstand wave action and aid sand accretion.

A portion of the seawall built along the coast near Chinnakuppam was washed away during May last year, putting the villages at risk of inundation. Though officials of the Tiruvallur collectorate inspected the area, measures are yet to be taken to repair the sea wall.

Preventing flooding

A. Kumar, a resident of Nettukuppam, said groynes constructed along the shoreline has protected the neighbouring areas from rough sea. But, there is a need to increase the number of such structures to prevent flooding and loss of property. “We are yet to get any compensation for the loss of property nearly six years ago,” he said.

Experts note that it would take another decade to reclaim the shoreline and the project must be implemented on emergency basis. V. Sundar, professor, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras, who provided the design for groynes, said the original shoreline may be 300-400 m wide. But, it may take another five to 10 years to reclaim the sandy shoreline up to 20 m. Groynes play a major role in trapping sand movement along the coast and must be built without delay to protect the shoreline that is vulnerable to erosion from June to November, say experts.

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