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DRDO bunding Wheelers Island

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Industry' started by Virajith, Jun 11, 2013.

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  1. Virajith

    Virajith Captain SENIOR MEMBER

    Jun 1, 2011
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    Wheelers’ Island, India’s only missile test firing range is still reeling under tsunami after effects. The ground beneath this island is running out of sand.

    It was in mid-1990s that the Defence Research and Development Organisation acquired a small part of Wheeler Islands for the purpose of establishing a Missile Testing Range.

    The island, more than two kilometres in length and spread over 390 acres, is loacted off the coast of Odisha and has served as a Missile Testing Range for various missiles including those of the Agni series.
    However, the after-effects of 2004 tsunami is still haunting this sandy island. The changed sea conditions since then have lead to erosion of its coast.

    Defence Research and Development Organisation has reportedly started making bunds around the island to prevent its sand from being carried away by water currents.

    Wheeler Islands and a part of the Coast are a favoured nesting site for the endangered Olive Ridley turtle. DRDO director-general and scientific advisor to defence minister, Avinash Chander, who was in Hyderabad on Saturday, told Deccan Chronicle that the island is primarily made of sand and that its landscape has changed substantially since the 2004 tsunami.

    “Wheeler Islands is basically a sandbank or a sandbar. The ever dynamic water currents have eroded the sand in some parts,â€￾ said Avinash Chander.

    Interestingly, according to officials, the Wheeler Islands, located about 10 kilometres off the eastern coast in the Bay of Bengal, is about 70 km from Chandipur, the Indian Army’s Integrated Test Range.

    The island can be accessed only through ship even though it has a small helipad and has a railway line connecting the missile assembly structures and buildings here.

    “We are continuously monitoring the coastal erosion in the Wheeler Islands and have also undertaken a massive tree planting drive based on the advice of expert environmental conservation agencies,â€￾ he said.

    DRDO bunding Wheelers Island | idrw.org
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