₹420-crore project proposed to protect coast

Call to build breakwaters to arrest sea erosion in Chellanam and Fort Kochi

The Coastal Area Development Agency for Liberation (CADAL), affiliated to the Kerala Regional Latin Catholic Council (KRLCC), has proposed a ₹420-crore project to protect the 20-km coastal segment between Fort Kochi and South Chellanam from sea erosion.

The proposal, if implemented, will enable hundreds of families in Chellanam and parts of neighbouring Fort Kochi to live in peace, besides saving the government substantial amount of money now being spent on periodic support extended to the villagers, said Shaji George of KRLCC.

The proposal is for building breakwaters, widening and cleaning up the storm water drainage system as well as depositing dredged material from the port area in Chellanam to help reduce the rate of sea erosion.

Breakwaters, extending up to 1.2 km into the sea from the shore, can prevent sea erosion. The cost of building breakwaters will be around ₹400 crore, said the proposal submitted to the government.

The proposal was drawn up after wide consultations with local residents, who have experienced the bitter effects of sea erosion and faced periodic flooding, as well as experts on the character of sea erosion and coast formation, said T.A. Dalphine of Coastal Area Protection Society for West Kochi.

Along with measures to protect the coast, there is also a suggestion to improve the storm water drainage system in Chellanam, so that even if the village is flooded, water will be easily drained off.

Deepening drain water drainage systems like Vijayan Canal can address flooding in Chellanam. The canal should be deepened and its sides protected in such a way that it helps drain out rain and flood waters.

At the same time, materials from dredging operations to deepen the shipping channel for the Kochi port should be deposited in the Chellanam coastal segment to nourish beach formation, the proposal said.

Sea groynes and breakwaters have to be erected to protect the coast and to prevent the dredged materials deposited from being washed away, it added.

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