At least one family has abandoned its house
MANGALORE: The people of Ullal, whose houses are dangerously close to the sea, feel they are left high and dry with little or no action to solve the problem of sea erosion on a long term basis.
As they showed three buildings, including a church, that have been damaged in the sea erosion Hillarynagar at Mukkechery in the last few weeks, they alleged that oft-repeated visits by the people in power have not helped them.
The land and buildings were lost year after year, they said. This year, even a temporary road created for movement of lorries for dumping boulders for erecting a barricade to protect the houses has caved in.
The people admitted that several loads have been put to strengthen or extend the barricade but a lasting solution had not been found.
As you approach the Ullal coast, the roaring ocean that challenges the boulder barricade put up by the authorities to protect houses and people from sea-erosion welcomes you.
People point out that at least one family has vacated a house fearing its collapse after the foundation at a corner of the building gave in when ferocious waves battered it. The people said, the house owner Fatima abandoned the house and started living in a rented building away from the coast.
At another end is the house of Aliyabba, former employee of Dredging Corporation of Inida, who said he had the house for over 20 years when the sea shore was about a km away. He showed the tax-paid receipts for the last few years to prove this. You could see that a part of the house had been consumed by the sea, which is barely a few metres away form his house. The stone barricade in the vicinity was of no help and the sea was unruly. “The sea has calmed down a bit for the last four days,” Mr. Aliyabba said.
When it was at its ferocious peak, the water gushed in through the vents under the tiled thatch, he said. The compound of a church had been damaged in the sea erosion.
The residents were angry that the visits by the VIPs to the sea erosion site has had no impact and more land was being eaten away year after year. “They come as if they come to their guest houses here and vanish,” said angry Abdul Rauf, who works in the fishing harbour at Bunder.
Juber Ahmed, an electrician, said the barricade was being advanced each year towards the land thereby letting the sea claim their houses and properties instead of meeting the problem head on and strengthening the barricade. People sought to know why authorities could not take action when the sea is calm during summer.
Executive Engineer at Udupi Division of the Department of Ports and Fisheries B. Gopal Naik said permanent solution would depend on the report to be submitted by a technical evaluation being done by experts hired by the Asian Development Bank. He said his department was spending Rs. 90 lakh this year to strengthen or extend the sea wall in 410 metres identified.