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Breakwater project to take off

The geotube protection project proposed by the government to save the state’s coastline will be inaugurated soon in Thiruvananthapuram.

Published: 21st January 2021 07:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2021 07:11 AM   |  A+A-

Violent waves and advancing sea have battered the shoreline of Thiruvananthapuram | Vincent Pulickal

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The geotube protection project proposed by the government to save the state’s coastline will be inaugurated soon in Thiruvananthapuram. Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation, the SPV entrusted with the project, signed the agreement with an agency to execute it 

The offshore breakwater project that aims to save the coastline of Kerala is taking off at the state capital. The project, being implemented by Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation, aims to protect the shoreline with offshore breakwaters constructed using sophisticated geotubes. According to officials, the project will be officially launched in February. Thousands of families residing along the coastline across the state are getting displaced every year because of heavy sea erosion and sea advancement. 

It has been nearly a year since Fisheries Minister J Mercy Kutty Amma announced the off-shore breakwater project as a solution to this. The initial attempt by KSCADC to tender the project failed when Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) rejected the proposal stating that it has to first get the technical sanction.

KSCADC retendered the project after obtaining revised financial sanction from KIIFB for an amount of `19 crore. The project is being implemented with the technical support of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), which carried out a model study for the project. 
The plan is to construct a 700-metre-long breakwater extending along Poonthura- Valiyathura- Beemapally-Shankhumukham.  

P I Sheik Pareeth, managing director of KSCADC, said that the official agreement has been signed with a Mumbai-based agency. He said that the project will be officially inaugurated during the first or second week of February. “The inauguration date will be finalised in a day or two,” he said. Mumbai-based DVP GCC Joint Ventures will be executing the pilot project at Poonthura. 

The plan is to construct an offshore breakwater using geotubes of 5m diametre along the 700-metre-long coastline at Poonthura. According to officials, this is a great offer as the work has to be done in the open sea, where adverse weather is going to be a challenge for the agency taking up the project. Also the work requires the use of heavy machinery and skilled labour, the official said. 

The state government had given administrative sanction for `150 crore for constructing offshore breakwater systems. According to officials, the plan is to complete the pilot project within six months and observe its feasibility. “Timely completion of the project is going to be a challenge due to adverse weather,” said a senior official associated with the project.

The official added that after the project is implemented, the situation along the Poonthura shoreline will be closely monitored for a long period. “We need to study how the monsoon would impact the breakwater. Only after assessing the results, we can extend the project till Shankhumukham. The outcome is very crucial as the government is planning to implement the system across the state,” the official added. 

What are geo tubes
Geotextile tubes are often referred to as geotubes, geocontainers, geobags, soil tubes, geotextile containers, or dewatering bags. These giant tubes could largely replace long boulder walls to check acute sea erosion in eight coastal districts. The tubes will be placed near the high-tide line to minimise the impact of waves. Geotubes are hydraulically filled with a slurry mix of sand and water.



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