20 July, 2013 — V. Balasekar, 42, of Sulerikattukuppam was washed ashore early today on the beach near the Nemmeli desalination plant. The fisherman’s kattumaram (a light surf-riding boat made of tied logs), capsized and he drowned after he got snagged in his own net. Villagers say that the rocks dumped into the sea by the desalination plant may have caused the mishap. Chennai Metrowater and its contractor VATech Wabag had constructed a pier by dumping rocks into the sea during the construction of the 100 mld reverse osmosis desalination plant. Villagers say the structure had eroded their beaches. They said the steep shoreline caused due to the erosion had increased the intensity of the surf, and made beach landings hazardous. Metrowater had removed many of the boulders dumped in the sea, but a section of it closer to shore was yet to be removed. Fishing boats returning from sea had to make a risky passing over these boulders. On July 10, 26-year old Chittibabu of the same village was seriously injured after his fibre boat capsized over the boulders. Till date, the Mammallapuram Police Station have refused to register an FIR in Chittibabu’s case.
– from Nity.