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Durability of seawall project questioned

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Bhubaneswar: Hundreds of residents of about 35 villages under Rajakanika block in Kendrapara district are unsure about the success of ongoing geo-synthetic project following early deflation of the tubes used to minimise sea erosion.

Almost all the tubes installed under the world bank-funded project are deflated, allege the villagers.

“Though the project is being implemented under the technical expertise and guidance of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, to protect the vulnerable from the onslaught of the sea, 90 per cent of the tubes have fallen flat. The project is yet to be completed and one can easily see the condition of the tubes. How can we rely on the project which has been designed arrest sea erosion?” asked a villager.

“Though the deadline of the Rs 35-crore project was end of this month, only one-fourth of it is complete so far. The rainy season has started and can anybody stop a Hudhud-like storm during this time?” asked another villager.

Admitting the condition of the tubes, officials stated that they have sought technical support from the experts involved in the project.

“We have installed 31 tubes out of 241. When excess sand was inserted, it could not take the pressure and in turn deflated. It could be a methodical error. Since we don’t have expertise in the matter, we have intimated the experts of IIT who are guiding us in implementing the project,” said Jugal Kishore Tripathy, executive engineer, Saline Embankment division, Aul.

Pune-based Garware Wall Ropes Ltd (GWRL) has been awarded the tender for the project which forms part of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme (ICZMP).

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