Tackling sea erosion in district top priority, says Sorake

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Udupi, June 16: Minister for Urban Development Vinay Kumar Sorake assured to combat sea-erosion menace with top priority and said that boulders need to be dumped at sea shore as a temporary relief.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of his visit to Udyavara and Kanakonda, the areas massively affected with sea erosion, the minister said sea erosion has been a huge problem confronting the coastal districts every year during monsoon.

There is a need to take up permanent measures. Around Rs 192 crores is released under ADB project to take up permanent sea-wall programme in the coastal belt in the state. Besides, a proposal has been sent to state government to release Rs 10 crores to mitigate the problem temporarily by putting up boulders across the stretch and also to concentrate on other measures.

The sea-erosion problems have hit Tenka-Yermal and also some areas of Shiroor, Kodi and Udyavara. Besides dumping the boulders across the sea shore stretch, the idea of setting up of break-water will also prove to be immensely helpful.

The one to two kilometre area around the break-water will not be affected with the sea-erosion problem. The ADB project is first experimented in Ullal as it has been taken up as the pilot project. Measures will be taken to put the boulders across the stretch in affected areas in Udyavara, he added.

District Port and Fisheries Executive Engineer T S Rathod told that there is around 30 metres sea coast affected in Kanakonda area. Around 759 to 800 metres sea coast in the district is affected with the problem. However, only around 300-350 metre area is affected severely but preventive measures are taken, as the problem occurs every year.

Rs 911 cr for State

The proposal is sent to the government. He said the ADB project is taken up at the cost of Rs 911 crores in three coastal districts of the state. The 300 kms sea coast is involved and project implementation process is taken up. It is an eight year programme and the project is taken up in Ullal in the first phase at the cost of Rs 223 crores.  In the second phase, Padukere, Maravanthe and Pavinakurve in Uttara Kannada district will be taken up. The remaining areas will be covered in the third phase.

The ADB has taken up resurvey works and this will prove to be the permanent solution, he added.

Stating that there are nearly 18 vulnerable reaches in the 300 kms sea coast, he said the programme aims at dual objective of saving beach and simultaneously curtailing the sea erosion menace.

Sharada, a localite said her family is under constant threat and fear that their house will be washed away in coming days as there is no one to listen to their grievances.

Despite the fact they have repeatedly appealed the people’s representatives as well as bureaucrats, there is not much development except useless assurances, she grieved.

Joseph Salins, a former GP member expressed his anguish and alleged that all department officials are useless and they do not pay attention to the problems.

The area is prone to all sorts of problems like there is acute shortage of drinking water during summer. During monsoon, people over here should risk their lives as huge waves hit their houses besides entering the houses.  People representatives come only during elections, he alleged.

Kadekar GP Vice-President Monappa Kotiyan said the survey is done for innumerable time and no action is taken. “If we raise the issue, they come up with temporary solution. Small boulders are put which can’t even resist medium waves.

Power facilities are not provided to the houses nearby citing CRZ norms. However the people, who are economically sound can avail the benefits without any obstacles. No single political party can be targeted, all are same,” he added.

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