THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Government has entrusted the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune, to conduct a comprehensive study on sea erosion along the Kerala coast.
This is being done to both identify the problems arising owing to the action of the sea, as well as suggest possible solutions to them, officials said. The decision to conduct the study on sea erosion and efficacy of erosion-controlling structures was taken last October at a meeting of the Committee of Assurances of Kerala Legislature.
After the CWPRS agreed to undertake the project, the administrative sanction was applied for. It was accorded earlier this month and the study is to be conducted at a cost of around Rs 42.83 lakh. “We have only just sent the proposal to the CWPRS and they will be the ones deciding the further details of the study,” Irrigation Department chief engineer (I&A) P Lathika said.
Meanwhile, the CWPRS, which conducts research studies on hydrology and water resources, river engineering and reservoir structures, apart from coastal and offshore engineering, is preparing to begin the process.
“The project was only recently referred to us. Our team will visit the sites referred to us by the Kerala Government and we will identify the vulnerable points and make suggestions accordingly,” CWPRS joint director (coastal engineering) M D Kudale said.
The solutions suggested, he added, would be site-specific, depending on the local conditions.
“The suggestion of a continuous seawall, for example, is not feasible because this is not a solution that can be generalised. Some areas may need constructions such as sea-walls or off-shore bunds, other areas may just need a more temporary option,” Kudale said. According to figures from a previous shoreline assessment of Kerala done by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), eroding areas along the 580-km Kerala coast account for a little over 10 per cent, while around 310 km of the coastal stretch has some form of coastal infrastructure - seawalls or groynes - to protect from erosion.