Geotextile tubes provide modern solution to areas affected by high tides and flooding.
An article published in a daily newspaper – the Deccan Chronicle– disclosed valuable information about one of the ongoing projects in Kerala centered around coastal protection systems using geotextile tubes. The project is by all means the first of its kind in India that is being carried out at Neerkunnam, Alappuzha. Maccaferri’s expertise and engineering solutions were integrated into the project.
To elaborate further, the article in the newspaper discussed how the irrigation wing under the water resources department is currently working on a pilot project using geotextile tubes in place of the conventional method of seawalls to save the coast from the high sea. This innovative and environmentally harmless solution is being implanted in a 100-meter area in Neerkunnam coast. The solution was taken on because of the unavailability of sizeable flints that a rocky seawall requires.
Maccaferri Environmental Solutions Pvt Ltd (India) was contracted to provide advice and installation plus construction know-how to the site. According to Anilkumar Gopinath, the vice-president of Maccaferri Environmental Solutions Pvt Ltd (India), it was for the first time that geotextile tubes that come under geotextile containment systems called Geosystems were being tried to replace the conventional method of sea-wall construction.
Geotextile tubes are made of high-strength geosynthetic fabrics that enable the water to flow through pores retaining sand materials that have been used for the filling. The pilot project will cover at least 100 meters along the Madhavamukku coast, and half the wok has already been done.
The project location was chosen by the irrigation department considering the high tides in the area. The traditional seawall constructed earlier and subsequent maintenance works that were in the past installed along a two kilometer stretch of the Madhavamukku coast in Ambaapuzha South Panchayat have unfortunately been ineffective. Since inception, many parts of the seawall system have been already swept away.
The advantage Maccaferri’s new construction scheme is that the force of each wave is reduced as it hits the sand-filled MacTubes. Conversely, the “outdated” rock structure is unable to suppress higher energy scouring the toe. Moreover, it takes approximately 5 hours to lay a single tube of 20m length and 1.5m height, and it’s much faster than the rock structures works. Currently, 20m of the seawall (2 bottom tubes and one top tube) using MacTube geosystems have been done, and the remaining work will be completed in a ten day period.
Ponniah Chandran, a technical advisor at Maccaferri India, said that geotextile tubes of length 20m and a diameter of 3m are made up of an extensive cover of polyester fabric and a shroud layer of polypropylene material. He stated that “after the bags are filled with sand, the tubes are covered with the balance of excavated material to prevent the adverse effects of UV rays vandalism”.
This innovative and environmentally friendly solution, once finished, will be characterized by its longevity and manageability.
For more technical details, check the video (in local language) covered by the local media.
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