The Visakhapatnam Port Trust has engaged the Dredging Corporation of India Ltd (DCIL) to launch work on beach nourishment.
VPT Deputy Chairman P.L. Haranadh told The Hindu that the work to commence annual beach nourishment had been launched on Friday with the DCI deploying a trailing suction hopper dredger.
The VPT had signed annual maintenance dredging and beach nourishment agreement with the DCI for three years from 2019-20 at an estimated cost of ₹39.96 crore. This year, the VPT expects that the DCIL will collect two lakh cubic metres of sand deposited at ‘Sand Trap’ located between Dolphin’s Nose and South Breakwater.
The VPT has been undertaking beach nourishment as part of its social commitment since 1976. The ‘Sand Trap’ has a stretch of over three to four km. If the required sand is not available, the nearby area maybe explored.
Mr. Haranadh said this year they would be nourishing highly vulnerable area near R.K. Beach and INS Kursura Submarine Museum. February is preferred because of ideal wind speed.
He said they were expecting the work to be completed within 20 days. Now Visakhapatnam Port has become a major stake holder in the DCIL. Last year, majority stake in the company was picked up by the VPT and the JNPT, Deendayal and Paradip ports after the Central government cleared the proposal.
Several committees with experts from the National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai and Deltares, an independent Dutch institute, were constituted to suggest measures after repeated sea surge damaging the road near fishing harbour and the side walk and boundary wall of Kursura Museum triggering public outcry.
A high-power committee led by IAS officer M.T. Krishna Babu later resolved to undertake periodical beach nourishment and rejected the idea of laying underwater dykes and geo-tubes going by the corrective measures undertaken at various eroded beaches internationally.
Green activists say concrete jungle culture violating Coastal Regulation Zone regulations changing the beach morphology and frequent occurrence of cyclonic systems are responsible for severe erosion of beaches.