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Valiyathura pier to get a facelift

The Harbour Engineering Department has decided to carry out a comprehensive study to restore and reopen the six decade-old Valiyathura pier.

Published: 04th June 2021 06:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2021 02:20 PM   |  A+A-

Valiyathura Pier, a popular heritage spot in the capital, was battered by Cyclone Tauktae and rough waves. Public entry is restricted as of now | BP Deepu

Valiyathura Pier, a popular heritage spot in the capital, was battered by Cyclone Tauktae and rough waves. Public entry is restricted as of now | BP Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Harbour Engineering Department has decided to carry out a comprehensive study to restore and reopen the six decade-old Valiyathura pier. The iconic heritage structure was most recently battered by cyclone Tauktae and rough sea. The department has decided to rope in IIT Palakkad to carry out the study and make effective intervention to restore the bridge. According to officials, restoring the pier is going to be expensive. 

An official with the department said, “We have written to IIT Palakkad. It’s going to be a time-consuming task. The institute would begin the study only after visiting the pier and it’s going to take at least three to six months to complete. The pillars of the pier have suffered significant damage and the institue will be studying the entire structure.” The 60-year-old, 214-metre pier was opened in 1956. Heavy sea erosion along the coast had inflicted damage to the pier over the years.

The rough waves triggered by Cyclone Tauktae a few weeks ago added significant damage. The authorities had to seal the pier and prohibit entry. “The pier is sealed for now. We will allow entry only after studying the stability of the structure and the interventions required before opening it for the public. The pillars of the structure have sagged and we don’t know the extent of damage,” the official added.

An unsuccessful past venture
Around six years ago, the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) had carried out a study and as per its report, the restoration of the pier was not economically viable. “The report had proposed `2-crore worth of restoration work. Unfortunately, the project didn’t take off. The pier is in the possession of the Ports  Department and it had invited an expression of interest. However, due to poor participation, it did not progress much,” said the official.

BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT
The department had also carried out a beautification project in the recent past. “Sea erosion is a critical issue and it has to be addressed to ensure the protection of the pier,” the official said. The Harbour Engineering Department will draw up the restoration project based on the study.



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