The delay in the beginning of submersible sea wall project has been hurting people at Ullal’s sea erosion prone areas who are left at the mercy of the raging sea year after year.
According to Shanth Kumar, Joint Director, Coastal Protection and Management Project, Department of Ports and Inland Water, Mangalore, the project is still in the tender stage. “We have called for the tender and July 23 is the last date for companies to respond. The technical design is as per the guidelines of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Supervision of the work will be carried out by Netherlands based Euro consultant Mottmac Donald. Whoever is given the tender will have to coordinate with them and the Project Mangaement Unit of the government”, Mr. Kumar told Coastaldigest.com.
The submersible reef plan is being look at as a permanent solution to the problem of sea erosion. The entire project has been divided into three phases. As part of the first phase, work is scheduled to begin at Ullal’s waters and areas such as Sasihitlu, Hosabettu , Devbagh and Majali will be taken care of later on, phase-wise.
The proposed plan of the submersible reef intends to cut the waves off at a distance away from the coast itself, thereby avoiding harsh waves from hitting the coast. Artificial reefs will be constructed which will be submersible i.e. under the water to block the strong waves at a distance of 600 meters away from the coast. This submersible sea wall will be around 38 meters long and 6 meters high from the sea bed. The sea wall’s foundation will comprise of geo textile material, which the authorities claim has the potential to withstand the harshest of sea waves. Another feature of this submersible sea wall would be the geo-tubes filled with sand which will be placed like bricks one above the other. The structure will be eco-friendly and cause no environmental harm and pollution, they say. Besides, four off-shore berms will be set up at the coast to help retain sand and prevent it from getting washed away and the nearby breakwater will also be altered a bit.
The submersible reef plan
The project is being carried out with financial assistance from the ADB. Of the Rs. 250 crores that were earmarked for the first phase of the project (Ullal), Rs. 170 crores have been approved. Designs for reefs and breakwaters are in progress. Overall, the submersible sea wall project is expected to be completed by December 2014, according to Mr. Kumar.
However, the delay in the beginning of the work has been a cause of concern. “More than the expected date for completion of the project of 2014, I am worried about the starting date of the project. They have been postponing things from the year 2010. Last year too they had called for tender but since there was just one bidder, they cancelled it. Now they have called for tender again. The delay is a cause of concern. One only hopes that no serious damages take place in our region this year and until the period of completion of the project”, says U T Khader, MLA.
Although it is difficult to say how many houses could get damaged due to the rampaging sea waves, Mr. Khader said that there are two to three houses in the region which are in critical condition and the same had been brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner. The area will have to contend with the temporary boulder walls this year too.
Photos by Ahmed Anwar