Vizhinjam: Extension of a major primary work of the upcoming Vizhinjam International Seaport has commenced. Another phase of the building of a groyne, which is essential to prevent erosion of the coastal area, is now on at this town near the popular tourist destination Kovalam on the southern tip of Kerala.
Groyne, known in Malayalam as 'pulimuttu', is a low wall or barrier built out into the sea from a beach to check erosion and drifting.
A 600-m long groyne was built earlier in the area and the present construction is its extension. When completed, the total length of the ‘pulimuttu’ would be 3.1 km. However, it will not have the shape of a straight line but would have a leftward curve after 900 m, so that the remaining 2.2 km is in the deep sea parallel to the shore.
At Vizhinjam, where a deepwater multipurpose seaport will be built by the Adani Group, about 10 trucks arrive daily with rocks that are to be filled up from the seabed where the groyne will come up.
From next month, the rocks would be deposited in the sea and a 2-km-long groyne would be ready in three months. The builders are planning to place at least 80 tonnes of rock each day in this area where the depth of the sea is around 19m.
The construction technique being employed here was earlier tried successfully in the United Kingdom in 2017, according to the officials of the Vizhinjam Seaport. The groyne being raised in Vizhinjam was designed by Cowi, a Denmark-based firm, they added.
The main stone of the groyne is ‘armour’, a huge polished rock. After depositing small rocks known as ‘core’ in the sea, the armours would be placed on either side. In addition, concrete blocks called accropodes would be fixed on the side of the groyne which is exposed to the waves. The accropodes are supposed to protect the huge rocks from the waves.
Afterwards, concrete slabs would be laid over the groyne in order to make it motorable. Trucks carrying construction materials can use this road over the groyne for works to extend the structure.
Vizhinjam is in Thiruvananthapuram district.