Kendrapara: The ambitious state government project to artificially conserve eroding sea beaches of Kendrapara, especially at Pentha through use of geotubes, has floundered after years of their deployment.
With the joint initiative of the World Bank, Union government and the state government, geotube walls were erected at Pentha sea beach to prevent nearby vulnerable villages and beaches from being affected by coastal erosion. However years after their deployment, the whole project seems to be a futile attempt as no visible change is seen at the site.
Climate experts claim that the walls interfered with the natural process of sea and failed to create the results as expected. Many also claim that the whole idea of using geotubes is a failed experiment that has been proved in other parts of the country too.
“It seems to be a failure. Such projects were tried in other parts of the country too where it also failed. The aim with geotubes was to nurture the sea by restoring sand and prevent erosion. However, it did not happen as it failed to facilitate formation of sand dunes and also could not prevent slipping of sand into the sea,” said Ranjan Panda, a climate and water expert.
He also added that the artificial way of protecting the sea interfered with the natural process of sea deposition at beaches and on the other side facilitated the erosion of the coastal areas at the corner of the stretch of the geotube walls.
Another ocean science expert from Andhra University K Nageswar Rao, who has studied several models of sea shore conservation, said, “Geotubes are no solutions. There are other ways that can conserve beaches from erosion which range from dredging to offshore intervention. We can learn from many other successful models from foreign countries.”
A visit by this correspondent to Pentha revealed loosening of the ropes used to tie up the rocks, bursting of rocks used to prevent erosion seem to be making the whole exercise a failed attempt. Other experts claimed that natural ways like plantations of mangroves and casurina could help the sea shore areas in preventing coastal erosion instead of artificial methods.
Some experts argue that the geotubes do not last long enough and could not withstand strong ocean waves for longer time. The same experiment done at Digha in West Bengal also proved a futile attempt.
A latest report by the National Centre for Coastal Research which surveyed 6031 km of India’s coastline between 1999 and 2016 claimed that Odisha alone lost 28 per cent of its 485 km coastline in the said period, hinting at the quantum of threat the coastal areas of Bay of Bengal in Odisha faces.
Manish Kumar, OP