Thursday, October 8, 2009

TN loses coastal villages in sea erosion

Study: TN loses coastal
villages in sea erosion

Oct. 4: Demographic pressures
and poor management
practices like construction
of rubble-mounted systems
and laying of giant boulders
may cause some areas
including the 21 coral-rich
islands in the Gulf of Mannar
in Tamil Nadu to disappear
from the map due to
sea erosion.
According to a study on
the ‘Impacts of global
warming and climatic change’
carried out by SIEMENPUU
Foundation, Finland,
along with Southern initiative
NGOs forum for participatory
development, in
nine coastal districts in
Tamil Nadu, the pace of
erosion is so great that within
a decade some parts of
the coastal villages will be
lost to the sea. Unscientific
attempts at stabilising erosion
at one location often
aggravate problems at
adjoining locations.
The coastal hamlets of
Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli
and Thoothukudi district are
losing land to the sea. Vembar
village in Thoothukudi,
which was 200 metres from
the sea 10 years ago, has
come closer: houses are
hardly 10 metres from the
sea now.
The construction of retaining
walls and dumping
groynes in Kanyakumari
pose a threat to the 1,000-
year-old Bhagavathi Amman
temple, said, Dr Gladwin
Gnana Asir, a geology
professor at Dr Sivanthi
Adithanar Engineering College,
Tiruchendur, part of
the team that did the study.
Mr Patterson Edward,
director of Suganthi Devadasson
marine research centre,
pointed out that two islands
— Vialgusalli Poovarasanpatti
in the Gulf of
Mannar — were submerged
in just 7-8 years.
Though erosion on the
southern side of Thoothukudi
harbour was minimised,
it doubled in the villages
Vellapatti and Tharuvaikulam,
in the north of the harbour,
as the breakwaters
constructed for the harbour
blocked the natural sea current
that changed its course
towards these villages.
The groynes laid along
Puducherry coast have
accelerated erosion at Kottakuppam,
in Villupuram.
This study suggests ecofriendly,
anti-erosion methods
like creation of mangrove
and non-mangrove
forests along the coasts. The
construction of anti-erosion
walls, if needed, must be
attempted after conducting a
scientific study about the
opographty and water current
to minimise destruction
in nearby areas. It suggested
construction of jetties in the
harbours as separate blocks
to facilitate the movement
of sediments naturally in the
water currents.

1 comment:

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