Mangaluru, June 16, 2020: With work on the Someshwara Shoreline Protection Project yet to be completed, the verdant seashore between Someshwara-Uchchila and Batapady (Talapady), south of Mangaluru, is again facing the threat of erosion with the advancement of monsoon.
Rough waves of the Arabian Sea have already started hitting the 2.5-km coastline between Uchchila and Batapady, the village bordering Kasargod district of Kerala. Residents of the area have been spending sleepless nights ever since it started raining.
The ADB-funded Shoreline Protection Project under the Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Programme Tranche 2 envisaged the construction of 10 groyens along the shoreline at an estimated cost of ₹ 30 crore. The work, however, is yet to be completed.
Batapady Abdullah, a resident of the area, told The Hindu that the authorities wake up only when sea erosion takes place, citing the example of the near-washing away of the village road to Batapady end-point last year. Only after the road came under the threat of the sea waves, the administration placed boulders. Fortunately, the road did not get washed away; but one is not sure of it remaining unaffected this time, he said.
Of the 10 groyens, only eight are completed and the shoreline around them were not affected much, Mr. Abdullah said. About 500 m of shoreline from the last groyen towards the south (Kerala) was left unprotected; groyens should have been built there too as the shore was under threat, he said. Someshwara Town Municipal Council president Rajesh Uchchil said that as of now, houses were not under threat.
However, one was not sure of them remaining unaffected in the coming days. He blamed the government agencies for the delay in executing the Shoreline Protection Project and said that if the work had been completed on time, there would not have been any threat. It was surprising that the agencies stopped the work once rain abated and re-started it when it began raining, he said.
The Uchchila-Batapady stretch has been witnessing extensive erosion since four-five years with the loss of hundreds of acres of land, coconut groves and a mini forest. Several houses and other buildings too have either been washed away or damaged due to sea erosion.