Residents anxious about damage to houses, Health Minister to visit Ullal and Uchila today

Sea erosion is back to haunt those staying close to the beaches in Ullal and Uchila.

The sea became rough in the early hours of Monday, say residents. Many houses could have been consumed by the erosion by Monday evening but the wall of boulders in areas such as Kaico and Uchila appeared to have rescued them. A couple of buildings of the Summer Sand resorts and a concrete stage on its premises faced danger. On Monday evening, one building had begun to collapse.

Many areas along the beach at Ullal and Uchila have been facing the wrath of the sea for the last few years and the residents reiterated fears that if the sea becomes rougher, the wall of stones could be consumed by the sea and waves could soon hit the houses in Kaico and Mukkacheri, as has happened in previous years. “Monsoon has not yet been vigorous. If this (force of sea waves) so now, imagine what could happen later on,” said Shaban Ullal, a daily wager earner at Kaico.

This correspondent could sea boulders that could weigh over a tonne slipping into the sea at Uchila near the house of Chandrasekhar, a fisherman and a member of Uchila Gram Panchayat. His neighbour Lakshmi Uchila pointed out his house was safe only because the wall of stones which was erected after the house suffered severe damage last year. Mr. Chandrasekhar’s toilet washed away on Monday morning, he said.

At Ullal, Latif Abdul, a daily wage earner said no action was being taken though he had understood that Minister for Health U.T. Khader had instructed officials to provide immediate relief. He alleged that officials had not extended the stone wall because of objections from the Summer Sand resorts.

When contacted Mr. Khader agreed that the resorts wanted an open sea abutting its property instead of a breakwater so that its guests could get free access to the sea. The resorts now wanted government’s help when its buildings were facing the threat, he said. Owner of the resorts, Aloysius Albuquerque Pai said he had objected to stone wall about a decade ago, but now wanted quick measures to prevent damage to his property.

Mr. Khader said he would visit the areas on Tuesday morning. Mr. Khader had recently held meeting in Ullal regarding the implementation of Rs. 990 crore project funded by Asian Development Bank to prevent sea erosion at Ullal. It witnessed initiation of a plan to constitute a committee of people to monitor the project.

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