Mangaluru, Apr 28, 2017: Even though the SW monsoons are more than a month away, unusual sea erosion is seen around Ullal and so on. Crashing waves have started to erode sand on the beach as seen for the last few days, residents along the sea shores are a seriously worried lot.
Beach Resorts along the Ullal sea frount had lost lost structures in the past years, are apprehensive that the erosion phenomina so early in the year is very strange and fearful.
The work on the ADB-funded Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Programme (SCPMIP) to address the issues of sea erosion in Ullal, that commenced two years ago, is yet to be completed. Of the proposed four berms, work on three berms is over and work on the two reefs and two breakwaters is also almost over says a SCPMIP official. "The sea has been very rough for the last few days, the work has come to a stop," he said adding that the work is likely be completed by May-end. The total cost of the project is Rs 223 crore, he said.
Some who have witnessing the changes for long, are of the opinion that the ongoing work on breakwaters, reefs and berms can only be a temporary solution, as any attempt to ’calm’ the sea at a given point, like Ullal will lead to a worse situation at other points.
Taking a look at the past, the breakwaters built at New Mangalore Port project in 1964, led to southern beach erosion. Subsequently, another set of breakwaters in 1991-94 at the mouth of Nethravathi/Phalguni river, led to sea erosion in Ullal, this observation was made by CWPRS, Kadakvasla, at the time of clearing the project.
As part of the ’Save Ullal’ project, foreign consultants were roped in with the funding from Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2010 and the work that commenced about two years ago is going on. Ullal has lost its pristine stretches of beaches to the extent of 200 to 400 metres due to the onward march of the sea over the last 30 years, basically after the construction of breakwaters at Nethravathi/Gurpur (Phalguni) rivers.
At the same time, the temporary remedial measures of dumping rocks/boulders along the beach to form a sea wall has turned the pristine beach into an ugly beach with dangerous sea walls. "All our efforts to save ullal have fallen on deaf ears," say people of the area who have appealed many times to no avail.
No response to SAB technology last 5 years : Dr B Nagendra Kumar, a consultant coastal engineer from Chennai, had given a presentation on a new and cost-effective SAB Sediment Accumulator in Beach technology, before the then MLA U T Khader as well as ADB officials, in 2012. However, there has been no response for the same till date. He had submitted proposals for Uchila, Yermal and Padukere in 2012.
SAB (Sediment Accumulator in Beach) technology is a new concept of sediment accumulation by artificial blocks to develop artificial ground and in turn develops protection of coastal property from the coastal erosion. What is more interesting is that, the technology is patented by the inventor, Dr B Nagendra Kumar, and has been successfully implemented in Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu) at a cost of Rs 55 lakh (300 metres) about eight years ago and in Gujrat in 2015 at a cost of Rs 75 lakh (300 metres). Kumar said that the indigenous technology developed by him is simply incomparable with the other projects which run into crores of rupees and time required for completion of the SAB project.
Features : Highlighting the features of SAB technology, Dr Kumar said that SAB unit develops frictional resistance to fluid motion during severe conditions; beach reinforcement enhances similar to human rib bones providing strength to beach; it prevents drifting of floated sediments; beach porosity will be reduced; and most importantly, there is no negative impacts on the adjacent beaches and is environment-friendly technology. One of the officials, who wanted anonymity, said the authorities concerned could have tried SAB technology in Mangaluru at least on a pilot project, which costs peanuts when compared with ADB-funded projects. The matter is all very grave indeed but getting no proper care for years now.