Trees on the verge of being swept away in Malpe, 10 families in Ullal shift to safer areas

The pounding of the sea, which has made its presence felt in various parts of the undivided Dakshina Kannada district, has now started to take its toll on the popular tourist spot of Malpe beach and surrounding areas here on Friday.

Nearly three trees at the beach are on the verge of being swept away, while the interlock-tiled road leading to the beach and a stone bench near the Bhajana Mandira are in the danger of being engulfed by the sea.

Silver lining

However, for fishermen, there was a silver lining in the washing up of coins and the occasional gold ornament that were thrown onto the beach by the fierce sea.

About the sudden arrival of gold ornaments on the beach, Kishore Karkera, a fisherman in Malpe said, “Many tourists had come here to play or bathe in the previous months. Some of them lost their gold ornaments. Sometimes it gets thrown back to the beach during the monsoon when the sea is rough. For the past week, a few people have been scouring the beach in search of these ornaments.”

However, at the beach itself, the sea has extended by about 100 metres, and has come close to lashing the umbrella-like structures created out of eco-friendly materials.

Though sea erosion is an annual occurrence here over the past five years, Shashidhar B. Kundar, fisherman, said this year, the erosion “is severe” despite the lack of heavy rain. Fisherman M. Anil explained the flatness of Malpe beach had led to large waves making its way towards the shore.

Meanwhile, during his visit to the beach, Pramod Madhwaraj, MLA, directed the Executive Engineer of Department of Ports and Fisheries T.S. Rathod to take steps to prevent further damage.

Precarious

There was no respite from the constant pounding of the sea for those at the areas hit by sea erosion in Ullal.

At least six members of Iddinabba family at Qiliyarinagar were seen using buckets to pump out the water that had seeped in during the periods of high tide on Friday.

While Summer Sands Resort had lost a building to the advancing waves, an open air-auditorium dangles precariously as the high tide digs out the stones from its foundation. However, the Ports Department has commenced the dumping of boulders between CAICO factory and Ullal Beach – between which the resort lies – to protect the land from being eaten away.

Fierce

At nearby Mogaveerapatna, fisherman Balakrishna Bangera said at least 10 families had gone to their relative’s house further inshore. “This happens annually, but this time, it has come early and is far fiercer,” he said, adding that though the wall of boulders lessen the impact of the waves, water still seeps into houses under the surge of the sea.

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