Beach erosion has intensified at Batpady despite an ADB rejuvenation project
With the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Someshwara Beach Rejuvenation Project coming to an end and the southern parts of the stretch in Batpady getting completely eroded, the Ports Department has decided to get technical guidance from the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune, to prevent erosion.
The ADB-funded project was on for about four years during which time, a special unit of the department constructed 10 groyens horizontally into the sea between Uchchila and Batpady. It also constructed two offshore reefs on the Uchchila-Batpady stretch. Both these structures were intended to break the velocity of waves and help beach rejuvenation. Nearly ₹240 crore is said to have been spent on this project.
While beach erosion has considerably reduced on the Uchchila stretch where the groyens and one offshore reef have been constructed, it has aggravated in the Batpady stretch where one reef has been constructed. Local residents have been demanding construction two or three more groyens towards the Kerala border, which is yet to happen.
Executive Engineer of Udupi Division with Ports Department Tharakesh Phayde told The Hindu that a team from CWPRS is expected to visit Batpady stretch this month-end or during the first week in October to study encroachment and find out the reasons for erosion. CWPRS will also be asked to evaluate the impact of the beach rejuvenation project. Once the institute submits its recommendations, the department will take necessary action, he said.
Regarding restoration of the Fisheries Road that has been eroded for about 500 metres towards Batpady end-point, Mr. Phayde said that the road does not come under the Ports Department. After ascertaining which department owns the road, necessary action will be taken, he said. Admitting that erosion has severely affected local residents, Mr. Phayde said that the beach protection work pursuant to CWPRS report should be able to protect the road once it is newly formed.
A senior engineer, who worked in the ADB project, said that the groyens and reefs should help reclamation of the beach. But a season or two is needed to get the desired results, he said and added that groyens can help prevent erosion on the Uchchila stretch.
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