The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has engaged the Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL) to undertake nourishment of the eroded areas on the beach near INS Kursura Museum at a cost of Rs.15 crore.
DCI, which has already deployed Dredge 16 and laid a pipeline to collect deposits from the ‘sand trap’ created by the port near Dolphin’s Nose, will launch the annual nourishment project from Friday.
“This year, the eroded stretch will be nourished with 3 lakh cubic metres of sand. Erosion is occurring remarkably due to the establishment of Kursura Museum on the beach-front whereas the incidence is less comparatively on other stretches on the 30-km Beach Road between Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam,” VPT Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu said.
The beach stretch has been witnessing caving in of road and sidewalks since the last five years due to severe erosion of the coast and environmentalists attribute it to the mushrooming concrete jungle and violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) guidelines.
The VPT has been spending huge amounts on beach nourishment since the construction of the Outer Harbour in 1979.
The breakwater formed near the fishing harbour by placing ship wreckage has been causing erosion to some extent. The construction of another port nearby is also stated to be one of the reasons for the erosion, a former scientist of the National Institute of Oceanography pointed out.
After the government formed a high-power committee to address the problem, Deltares, a Dutch-based independent agency, recommended discontinuation of nourishment through the rainbow method and the introduction of the pipeline system to collect excess sand and fill the vulnerable areas with it and formation of geo-synthetic mesh and installation of underwater dykes.
The VPT found that both options along with the suggestion to bring sand from other areas are expensive and the pipeline method is more cost-effective.