Passing through Beach Road, one must have seen a ship standing close to the bay. That is the dredger of Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) sent to nourish the RK Beach. Vishakapatnam Port Trust (VPT) previously launched a beach nourishment programme to put a cork in erosion at RK Beach, especially at the INS Kursura Submarine Museum area.
VPT takes up this operation annually by collecting sand from the Dolphin Nose and South Breakwater and transferring it here. The sand will be collected from what is accumulated at the sand trap over a 3-4 KM stretch at these areas. The beach nourishment has been advanced this year by the DCI due to favourable conditions now.
VPT usually takes up this job every year as part of their social commitment since 1976. They are expecting to collect 2-2.5 lakh meter cubic meters of sand reportedly at the sand trap. The DCI bagged a three year contract from VPT and has now taken up the beach nourishment by installing a floating pipe and using rainbow technology to pump out the sand at RK Beach and Kursura Museum. The project being taken up by DCI now will cost VPT Rs 13-15 crore depending on the duration of the nourishment. DCI has deployed Dredge-17, a trailing suction hopper dredger for this purpose.
While a Dutch-based independent research firm – Deltares – has recommended VPT against underwater structures, National Institute of Ocean Technology-Chennai has recommended to go for geo-tubes and underwater dykes. The Dutch experts also recommended that regular beach nourishment is the best solution for putting a stop in beach erosion and that installation of underwater structures would only provide temporary relief.