Decks cleared for Odisha`s geo-synthetic-tube seaw

Decks have been cleared for commencement of construction of Odisha`s first geo-synthetic-tube seawall project to tame the marauding sea, officials said.

Kendrapara: Decks have been cleared for commencement of construction of Odisha`s first geo-synthetic-tube seawall project to tame the marauding sea, officials said.

The Rs 33 crore project will arrest sea erosion along Pentha coast in Kendrapara district.

Geo-tubes made up of high grade rexin and filled with sand would be put in place at the erosion-hit Pentha embankment. The sand filled rexin bags would act as protective barrier against tidal waves. It would absorb the tidal ingress and salinity contents in sea water and stop the erosion of embankment, Executive Engineer, saline embankment division, Jugal Kishore Tripathy said.

Pune-based Garware Wall Ropes Ltd has been awarded a contract for the project. Work would start shortly and would be completed by October 2014, they said.

The much-delayed project being implemented under World Bank-funded Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme (ICZMP) would protect vulnerable villages from sea erosion in Rajnagar block of Kendrapara district.

The foundation of the project worth Rs 15 crore had been laid down by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in 2008. However, technical modification of the plan and delay in floating the global tender led to delay in the project leading to cost escalation, said officials.

IIT, Chennai has already given go-ahead to the project after scientific and morphological study of the sea coast.

"The project has got delayed due to unavoidable reasons. The technical findings of IIT Chennai were re-examined by the state water resources department. After that contract was given to the Pune based firm, work would start within a fortnight," Tripathy said.

The sea wall geo-tube barrier embankment height would run up to 7.4 metre. The tidal surge rises up to 5 metre during cyclonic storm. Thus it could withstand the ingress of tidal waves. The length of the embankment would be 675 metre. The plinth of the seawall would be of three metre depth. The geo-synthetic tube would withstand the impact of ultra-violet ray and tidal velocity, he said.

While 75 per cent of the cost would be borne by the World Bank, there would be 15 per cent central share in the project. The state water resources department would bear 10 per cent of the project funds.

To stop the tidal ingress, the department has put in place bamboo barriers and sand-filled bags as temporary measures near Pentha coast under Rajnagar Tehsil.

The decision to erect geo-tube to arrest sea erosion was taken on the basis of findings of IIT, Chennai. The oceanographic experts deputed by the IIT had studied among other things the beach profile, moisture contents of sandy particles, morphology of the eroded beach, intensity, frequency and velocity of the waves, Tripathy said.

Of the 480-km-long coastline in the state, 39.3 km has been undergoing various degree of sea erosion. The Pentha coast set for geo synthetic tube refurbishment comes under high erosion zone, said officials.

"The ministry of environment and forest on the basis of digitization of coastline and satellite imagery study has pointed out that over one-third of the state shoreline is exposed to varying degree of sea erosion. Of it, 8.2 per cent is severely hit by sea erosion. That includes Pentha coast," Tripathy said.