Visakhapatnam: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation plans to launch a comprehensive two-year study to counter beach erosion in Visakhapatnam.
The study would be conducted by an appointed agency based on historical data as well as “shoreline change model”. The agency would be tasked with evaluating the evolution of shoreline of Visakhapatnam over the last 20 to 25 years.
Earlier, the Chennai-based National Insti-tute of Ocean Techno-logy suggested installation of a sill-like structure — geosynthetic tubes 220 metres from the shore — and beach nourishment along the 2.5-km stretch as short-term measures and setting up an underwater artificial reef with tetrapod blocks that act as a energy dissipater as long-term measure.
The state government later hand-picked the Deltares Institute of Netherlands — a renowned consultant firm with proven expertise in preparing designs of coastal defence systems — to assess the report of remedial measures prepared by the NIOT.
Deltares suggested “restoration of the old sediment budget in the coastal system” as the only way to arrest beach erosion.
Following this, the Beach Erosion Preven-tive Committee, comprising the district collector, VPT chairman and GVMC commissioner, directed both agencies to find a middle ground.
GVMC commissioner and convener of the Beach Erosion Preven-tive Committee Pravin Kumar explained: “The terms of references, which will be the basis for the appointed agency to carry out the two-year study, are being finalised. But we are yet to take a final call on the agency – whether to sail along with the NIOT-Deltares or to appoint an agency through open bidding. Meanwhile, we will carry out beach nourishment works through VPT in November and December to restore the expanse of the beach area,” he said and added, “The shoreline protection will be realised by the AP Disaster Recovery Programme.”