Andhra Pradesh

Lawson’s Bay beach, once a star attraction, now resembles a dumpyard

A view of the Lawson’s Bay beach, where large amounts of plastic waste flow into the sea posing a threat to marine life, in Visakhapatnam.

A view of the Lawson’s Bay beach, where large amounts of plastic waste flow into the sea posing a threat to marine life, in Visakhapatnam.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Protests planned by Waterman Rajendra Singh and Jal Biradari urging State govt. to set up a sewage treatment plant

The Lawsons Bay beach in Visakhapatnam, once hailed as one of the most pristine in the region, now resembles a dumpyard with mounds of plastic littering the beach.

The beach attracts few visitors, as there is barely any space to walk along the sea, let alone find a place to sit and enjoy the waves.

Tourists, both domestic as well as foreign, are taken aback when they arrive at the beach. “We read on a number of travel websites that Vizag is home to several beautiful beaches, with one of them being Lawson’s Bay. We came here with high expectations, but are shocked at seeing its present plight,” said a tourist who had come from West Bengal.

An added eyesore at the beach is the practice of allowing untreated sewage water from the city to flow into the sea at the beach.

Members of Jal Biradari, led by Waterman of India Rajendra Singh and JB’s national convener Bolisetty Satyanarayana, have planned to stage protests at the beach demanding that the State government take steps to set up a sewage treatment plant and stop the flow of untreated sewage water into the sea.

Addressing the media in Lawson’s Bay here on Saturday, Mr. Satyanarayana said that the beach was one of the most frequented ones in the city by tourists and was popular even before Independence. “It used to be one of the most beautiful places in the city and was the safest beach along the coast. But ever since the sewage drains were connected to the stormwater drain, the beach has become heavily polluted and has become reduced to an eyesore,” Mr. Satyanarayana said.

Health risks

Apart from the untreated sewage water, chemical and toxic waste is also finding its way into the sea, thus posing a risk to marine ecology and affecting the livelihood of fishermen and the health of people bathing in the beach.

About 20,000 fishermen live along the coast in Yendada and Jalaripeta, and their lives are being affected due to the unchecked pollution at Lawson’s Bay beach, he said.

“For the last three years, we have been trying to raise awareness on this issue but authorities have not shown any concern. On the contrary, the situation is becoming worse with every passing day,” Mr. Satyanarayana added.

Whenever there is a downpour, the rainwater washes large amounts of plastic on to the beach, further aggravating the situation.

Authorities should realise that environment, ecology, air and water pollution amount to violation of the right to life of the fishermen as assured in Article 21 of the Constitution, Mr. Satyanarayana said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 3:37:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/lawsons-bay-beach-once-a-star-attraction-now-resembles-a-dumpyard/article30832144.ece

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