Loopholes found in installation of geo-synthetic tubes

Kendrapara: A scientific study by experts has found loopholes in the installation process of geo-synthetic tubes in sea-erosion-hit Pentha coast of Odisha s Kendrapara district.

The construction work of Odisha s first geo-tube seawall project was suspended midway in July last year following alleged lopsided installation of synthetic tube, officials said.

The synthetic tubes had got ruptured during installation exercise prompting the authorities to halt the project work.

Samples of geo-tubes had been sent to Bombay Textiles Research Association laboratory and Civil Engineering material testing laboratory of IIT Chennai, they said.

Besides, authorities had sought for technical expertise of IIT, Chennai for hassle-free implementation of the project, coming up to save vulnerable human settlements in Kendrapara district from marauding sea.

The sample testing reports have detected fault in the pumping process of slurry mixtures for the tube-rupture.

However, no manufacturing defect of the synthetic tubes has been found by the testing report, said officials.

The experts were of the view that the thrusting of slurry of water and sand into the improvised tube was not done in accordance with prescribed ratio. As a result, one of the tubes installed at the project site had burst. The force applied during the thrusting of slurry was not uniform, leading to the rupture, officials of saline embankment division here said quoting experts findings.

Altogether 40 geo-synthetic tubes made up of polypropylene materials have already been installed at the seawall site. As one of tubes ruptured during the course of installation, it has led to the suspension of the work. The work would resume shortly.

“We are waiting for directions from higher ups in this regard,” said Executive Engineer, Saline Embankment Division, Jugal Kishore Tripathy.

A total of 240 geo-synthetic tubes are being spread across the seawall which would be of 505 metre length. The tubes are being spread in four-layer form. The height of the coastal embankment would be 7.4 metre.

Earlier, the project was to cover 700 metre length of shoreline. However, seawall s length was brought down as natural sand dunes and sand bars have been formed providing a natural barrier to the sea waves.

A high powered committee of engineers headed by engineer-in-chief, water resources department, had earlier inspected the construction site. The committee members had directed to suspend the construction work.

Sand and water at the ratio of 80:20 were being pumped into the polypropylene tubes in slurry form. The experts report has sought for 90:10 (sand and water) ratio during installation of tubes on the erosion-hit coastal embankment.

The Rs 31.4 crore worth seawall project was scheduled for completion by July, 2015. However, the deadline has been extended till January, 2016, the officials said.