Udupi, May 31, 2019: The drive to clean beaches marred by tar or oil sludge deposits at Malpe beach and St Mary’s island was progressing on May 30, Thursday.
Ten volunteers along with district administration and Malpe Development Committee collected hazardous waste washed up on Malpe beach which weighed more than 50 kg. Since a week, tar has been washing ashore in Yermal, Hejamady, Malpe, Kodi Kanyana, Beejadi and surrounding areas.
Sudesh Shetty, who was awarded the lease of developing Malpe beach, suspects that a ship must have released oil in high seas. “Thus the oil blobs or tar was washing ashore. It is liquid petroleum hydrocarbon and a big threat to the marine ecosystem,” he warned.
The deposits of tar on the beach left many worried. Shopkeepers in Malpe beach are worried about the impact of the oil spill on the tourism. Those dependent on tourism to eke out a living feared that the filth will bring disrepute to the beautiful beaches and will have a negative impact on the footfall also.
A shop owner near Malpe beach, recollected how oil spill had marred the beauty of the beach during summer of 2018 too. A fisherman from Malpe, said the oil blobs have a negative impact on fish breeding and force people to stop consuming fish too.
Meanwhile, Pollution Control Board officials reviewed the cleanliness drive conducted at the Malpe beach on May 30, Thursday. Due to waves in the sea, the tar was found all along the shore from Malpe to Bijur (near Kundapur), about 30 km distance. It is very essential that the menace is curtailed in a proper manner before permanent damage progresses said environment experts.