Scarce funds hold up seawall project
Thiruvananthapuram: The sea eats up the beaches during each monsoon causing immense hardship to coastal folks.
And the only solution seems to be the seasonal mending of seawalls. Though the irrigation department wanted to replicate the re-inforced sea wall as same as Panathura coastal area at the remaining coastlines across the State recommended by IIT Madras team since 2009, it is yet to happen due to scarcity of funds.
According to irrigation department officials, it was during 2008 – 2009, they had constructed 1370 metres of re-inforced sea wall at a budget of around Rs eight crores. This year, sea inundation has been less at Panathura compared to other coastal areas like Valiyathura and Shanghumugham coastlines.
“Our proposal was actually 2400 metres of special sea wall. But due to lack of Government funds it was brought down to 1370 metres. In Panathura, two tons of stones were immersed in the sea in gabion box which gives a homogenous look. Also two groynes was constructed across the sea”, said a top irrigation official to DC.
But former Chief Engineer with harbor engineering department N. Mohanakumar said that the reason for the sea erosion is due to irrigation engineers blindly following Central Water and Power Research Station at Pune’s default model in putting up sea walls without site-specifications.
“In order to break the waves, if we put the berm in a proper way, it will meet the required result. Also stones in cubicle shapes is what is required”, said Mohanakumar. The irrigation department is awaiting nod from the cabinet for Rs 2.5 cr needed towards setting up sea wall at the remaining stretches.