Over the past few years, Chellanam, an idyllic coastal village in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, would unfailingly hit the headlines during the monsoons for massive sea incursion and widespread destruction of homes. However, this monsoon, despite heavy spells of rain lashing Ernakulam district from May, Chellanam has remained largely unaffected thanks to the construction of a new tetrapod-based seawall.
Issues with Conventional Seawall
- Failed to check sea ingress- Earlier, the conventional seawall of Chellanam failed to check sea ingression which resulted in massive ruin and destruction.
- Massive coastal erosion- Coastal erosion, which intensified after Cyclone Ockhi in 2017 further worsened with Cyclone Tauktae last year, leaving many residents in relief camps for extended periods.
- Huge rehabilitation-Since then, many of them chose to either seek rented accommodation for shorter durations or relocate forever by selling off their small holdings under the State Fisheries Department’s Punargeham project in the face of periodic onslaught by the sea which rendered their homes uninhabitable.