NAGAPATTINAM: With the district suffering another incident of coastal erosion in the week -- this time the small traders in Velankanni witness to dozens of their shops getting washed away, the demand for installation of protective structures along the coast has grown.
The traders along the coast were shocked as huge waves swept away eateries, fancy item stores and toy shops on Thursday morning. “We are afraid that erosion would advance till the church (Velankanni Shrine Basilica) entrance, sweeping away all our shops on Beach Road in the process. We demand the setting up of a structure to protect us from the waves, “ said KV Baskar, a representative of Velankanni Vanigar Sangam.
The joy-ride operators also found some of their carousels installed on the shore coming under the attack of the waves. Somu of Velankanni said, “My carousel has been uprooted and displaced by the waters. I have just fallen more in debt. I am afraid to pull back what remains and put it back to business as I fear it would get washed away again.”
On Sunday, Nambiar Nagar, a fishing hamlet of Nagapattinam municipality, suffered coastal erosion. Coastal erosion, which experts attribute to climate change, is a constant process that at times impacts the shores of Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts.
An official from the Fisheries Department said, “We have proposed to set up a couple of groynes near the shores of Velankanni and Seruthur on either side of Vellaiyaru estuary. The structure would be instrumental in preventing coastal erosion.” It was only recently that Vellaiyaru river that opens its mouth into the sea between Velankanni and Seruthur was cleared of silt mounted at the estuary’s end.