Kendrapara, August 25 (LocalWire): A portion of the much-hyped geo-synthetic tube wall in the seaside village of Pentha in Kendrapara district was gutted in a mysterious fire on Saturday night.
‘We suspect miscreants set afire around 15 gabion boxes of the wall.
We put stones in the gabion boxes while building the geo-tube wall to protect it from the advancing waters.
Fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot and doused the fire today.
Following the incident, we held talks with the district administration and police regarding safety of the geo-tubes,’ said Purnachandra Rath, the executive engineer (saline embankment division) of Aul.
Pune-based Garaware Rope Limited had built the geo-synthetic tube wall in Pentha in 2016.
‘We informed the officials of the company to rebuild the gutted gabion boxes.
During Titli cyclone a year back, a portion of the geo-tube was washed away and the company repaired it,’ said Rath.
The 600-metre-long tube wall was built by the state government three years back under its Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) programme at the cost of Rs 39 crores with the technical support of the scientist of IIT Chennai, to protect the seaside village of Pentha and its nearby areas against high waves, cyclones and even tsunami.
The crashing sea waves gnawed away the geo-synthetic tubes recently and the tubes were precariously hanging.
To protect the geo-tubes, a seafront armory of stone protection barrier was built two years back,at the cost of Rs 4.10 crores, added Rath.
‘Earlier, the scientists of IIT, Chennai had suggested to plant casuarinas in front of the geo-tubes to save the tubes from tidal waves.
But due to lack of space on the beach, we shelved the casuarina plantation and built the armory instead,’ added Rath.
This is state’s first geo – synthetic tube wall project.
The foundation of the project had been laid by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in 2008.
Its success to tame the marauding sea will pave way for other tube wall projects in sea erosion areas of the state, added Rath.
Constructing the geo-synthetic tube wall was a mistake. These failed in the past in many states like Pondicherry, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and even in Pentha.
It is a pity that the state government wasted a huge amount of money constructing it because after its construction, the sea started crawling menacingly towards other side of the sea wall, said Hemant Rout, the secretary of Gahirmatha Marine Turtles Conservation and Mangrove Protection Society.