Sea erosion at Muttukadu swallows bungalow, two buildings under threat
Intensity and alarming pace of erosion to cause concerns in Chennai, where a calamity could unfold
Chennai: Five weeks since Express highlighted the destruction wrought by sea erosion at the Muttukadu beach due to an ill-conceived and unauthorised coastal engineering project undertaken by State Fisheries, a beach-facing bungalow at Muttukadu has been reduced to rubble by the fast-eroding coastline. Two more newly-constructed buildings, allegedly built in violation of environmental norms, are under threat.
IN just five weeks, a beach-facing luxury bungalow at Muttukadu has been reduced to a rubble by the fast eroding coastline that has enabled tidal waves to overrun structures close to the shore. Two more newly-constructed buildings, all allegedly built in violation of environmental safeguards, are facing constant tidal attack that has already breached the compound walls, with the houses lying just a few metres away.
The intensity and alarming pace of the erosion should cause concerns in Chennai, where the calamity is heading.
On August 2, Express highlighted the destruction wrought by the sea erosion at the picturesque and ecologically sensitive Muttukadu beach due to an ill-conceived and unauthorised coastal engineering project undertaken by State Fish- eries to construct a ‘groyne field’ after fishermen in Kovalam village complained of sea erosion.
On Saturday, only five weeks since then, the situation is unprecedented. In this brief period, sea has come in at least 50 metres, with the stronger tidal waves reaching further in. About 15 coconut trees have fallen, and roots of several others were exposed by fast eroding sand. According to local residents, such is the scale of damage that each wave hitting the shore is eroding land. The sandy shore was once worth crores of rupees in terms of real estate value.
A private contractor engaged in clearing the debris of the bungalow said the influential owners of bungalows under attack tried to put up a wall to arrest the erosion. However, it faced fierce opposition from the Karikakattukuppam villagers who feared it would erode their fish landing area.
A window from the destroyed bungalow |
A JCB clearing the building debris of a bungalow, which was overrun by tides at Muttukadu | BEFORE