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Beat this! IIT Madras team grows an island off Tamil Nadu coast to arrest erosion

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has been growing an island off the Tamil Nadu coast since 2015. Called Vaan Island, it is located two kilometres off the Tuticorin coast in the southern state, according to a The Indian Express report.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Titicorin coast was partially submerged due to coral mining and before the IIT team began its experiment, the island had shrunk from 16 hectares in 1986 to 1.5 hectares in 2015. After helping the island gain mass by 7.6 percent, the IIT team has ignited hopes of protecting it.

The island is among the 21 uninhabited islands in the Gulf of Mannar, which is located between India and Sri Lanka. Notably, it is the first marine biosphere reserves in Asia and was created by the Indian government in 1989.

In 2014, Tamil Nadu's Environment Department approached IIT Madras with a request to find a solution to protect the island.

The team's aim is to control the erosion of the island and facilitate coral rehabilitation in surrounding areas, reported. "Coral mining was once rampant in this area, and that combined with rising sea levels have over the years harmed the island," H Malleshappa, director, Environment Department was quoted in The Indian Express report.

IIT Madras had informed the state government that the project will not affect the nearby Koswari Island. "We worked out the design, the build, how to place it, studied waves and determined where to place the structures,” said Professor SA Sannasiraj, head, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras.

Updated Date: Aug 04, 2017 18:58 PM

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