Coastal Erosion Makes a Comeback to Vizag

The shoreline erosion which has triggered widespread panic when it first occurred in

VISAKHAPATNAM: The shoreline erosion which has triggered widespread panic when it first occurred in January-end has struck again, where heavy tides uprooted several trees and brought down many houses along the shore near the Submarine Museum, Mangamaripeta, Uppada, Dibbadipalem apart from other areas in the city over the last two days.

Lack of concern and serious apathy from the officials of GVMC and the panel of members to fix the issue of beach erosion is proving to be a serious problem threatening the Port City’s prized possession: it’s picturesque coastline.

The measures suggested by the Oceanography experts and academicians to arrest the distressing phenomenon when it first occurred never materialised, leaving the citizens in fresh panic in the absence of action.

Though many announcements have been made by the officials on further steps for beach nourishment, the reality is far from the projections. The only initiative from the GVMC officials towards the problem was a temporary one, that of filling the damaged area with sand and piling heavy rocks. Experts from the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) of Pune, who promised to study and come up with a solution also seem to have slackened, as even the on-site work has not yet begun.

Reacting to the issue, GVMC executive engineer (Projects) K Vinay Kumar told Express that different teams including Andhra University professors, VUDA and GVMC officials and some members of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) of Visakhapatnam, approached the CWPRS Pune after a detailed study on the incident along with experts. He said that the team explained the Visakhapatnam coastline and its behaviour to the Pune team with the help of studies conducted by the Visakhapatnam National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).

“The Pune team needed some more scientific and engineering parameters to proceed in their study, which would only be possible with on-site approach by the respective team. The team promised their on-site approach would start in the first week of July, Vinay added. He also said that the team would visit the city on July 24 along with NIO Chennai officials,” said Vinay Kumar.

Meanwhile, environmental experts in the city warn about the impending danger if the issue is neglected further. Head of Environmental Department at AU KVSR Prasad said that it is a completely man-made problem. According to him, many man-made activities lead to coastal erosion, with the establishment of breakwater systems in the industries in the Port area likely to be the main cause. “Breakwater systems arrest the movement of sand particles and lead to coastal erosion,” Prasad said.

He suggested some preliminary actions such as construction of submerged breakwaters, sea-walls, groynes or geo-tubes to fix the issue to some extent without losing the ambience of the beach.

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