Dhanushkodi, famous for the ruins of an abandoned township on a sandy stretch of land that is part of the Rameswaram island and extends like a finger into the sea, is all sun and surf and therefore a fine picnic spot.  

Now, if a plan of the National Institute of Wind Energy, part of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, to build a jetty at Dhakushkodi fructifies, it would give a fillip to tourism. As an alternative to the train to Rameswaram, it would give tourists an opportunity to arrive in ferries and soak themselves in the health-giving sunshine, swim in the pellucid waters. 

Though, that is not the purpose of the proposed jetty. NIWE wants the jetty both for itself and for wind energy companies that would put up offshore projects in the Gulf of Mannar. The Institute nurtures hopes of putting up two ‘offshore’ wind turbines – pile-founded into a piece of land that has offshore wind conditions. Alongside the 20MW project, NIWE also intends to build a ‘national offshore wind test center’. The jetty would help move materials. 

And since it is expected that in a few years, the region could be buzzing with the activities of offshore wind projects, the jetty would help the wind companies too – they could bring stuff from the Tuticorin port and ‘dump’ them on the jetty, before moving them to the site. NIWE has submitted a proposal to the ministry seeking ₹400 crore for building the jetty.  

Speaking at the second UK India Offshore Wind Summit, organised in Chennai jointly by the UK government and the Global Wind Energy Council on Friday, Dr Rajesh Katyal, Director, NIWE, said that the proposal was for constructing 600-meter-long jetty. The sea-end of the jetty would be a 100-meter, 12-meter-wide ‘berthing jetty’ and the rest of it would be ‘approach jetty’. 

“We will be submitting a proposal to the MNRE next week,” Dr Katyal said.  

Experts raise doubts 

Some experts at the Summit, with whom businessline spoke, however, said that the jetty was not a good idea, because the four-meter water depth is not good enough for ships to berth there. Dr Katyal’s counterview could not be obtained because he said he was not allowed to talk to the media.