Rapid Erosion in Visakhapatnam


The Vishakhapatnam coast is facing erosion since beginning specially Ramakrishna Beach and submarine Museum region due to lack of sand supply from southern side. About 50-55 m beach has been lost near submarine Museum region during 1990- 2014. Giving this information a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha , the Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S.Chowdary said in the intensity of erosion has increased rapidly in recent past and about 20 m beach has lost in last 2 years. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has been trying to control the erosion by regularly nourishing the Rama Krishna Beach with the sand available in the sand trap at the outer harbour. In 2013 and 2014, the cyclones ‘Phailin’ and ‘Hudhud’ further hastened erosion of the Rama Krishna Beach, severely damaging the adjacent protection wall and road.
He said, the Government of Andhra Pradesh constituted a Committee vide G.O.Rt.No.17, I&I (P.II) Department, dated 02.02.2015 to conduct a detailed study the reasons for the beach erosion and to take up short term and long term measures to ensure that there is a sustainable solution for the beach erosion at Visakhapatnam.
Shoreline changes i.e. Erosion or accretion is a natural phenomenon, occurs throughout the coast with varying magnitude due to natural processes and man-made interventions. The seasonally changing winds during the southwest monsoon (June – September) and northeast monsoon (December – February), generate wind-waves from different directions towards the beaches. Along the east coast of India, littoral drift occurs in the northerly direction for 8-9 months in a year, with the wave approaching the coast from the southwest. There is a southerly littoral drift for 3 to 4 months due to north-east monsoon waves. This variation in the littoral drift results in instability of beach where man-made structures disrupt the free-sand movement. As the net littoral drift is towards the north along the coast, any man-made structure would lead to accretion of sand on the south of the structure and erosion on its northern side. However, there is no general, large-scale beach erosion in India, except where the sediment/sand transport has been disturbed by human activities viz., construction of breakwaters, groins, bulkheads etc. which cause erosion on the down-drift side and accretion on the up-drift side. On an average, about 40% of Indian coastline is facing varying degree of erosion. From last 25 years data (1990-2014), it observed that about 25- 33% of Andhra Pradesh Shoreline is experiencing erosion of various magnitudes.

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