MCC to take Action on Illegal Slums on the Beach (Panambur- Meenakaliya) for Littering & Openly Defecating
Mangaluru: The Mangaluru City Corporation, Youngsters Panambur and Youngsters Yuvaka Yuvathi Mandala-Baikampady members claimed the stretch of beach from Panambur till Baikampady Meenakaliya. The volunteers, including students, cleared all the garbage that was littered on the shore. More than three truckloads of garbage were collected during the drive.
More than 150 sheds have come up in the vicinity of Meenakaliya which is part of the famous Panambur-Surathkal beachfront. Last month, Youngsters Panambur and other local residents cleaned the Meenakaliya Beach and collected waste weighing about 3,000 kg. When they launched another cleaning drive again on Sunday, they collected 5,000 kg trash on the Meenakaliya-Panambur stretch of the beach. Naveen Saliyan, president of Youngsters Panambur, said that a major part of waste comes from trash dumped by occupants of illegal structures and sheds that have come up on government land off the beach.
“More than 150 sheds have come up and occupants of these sheds do not hand over waste to workers of the waste collection agency; instead they dump trash on the beach,” he said. Adding to this environmental misery, these occupants indulge in open defecation on the beach. Saliyan said that officials and elected representatives have not taken action to prevent open defecation and dumping of waste, despite a number of memorandums. Some of these sheds are given on rent and the occupants do not have Aadhaar cards.
Residents in the vicinity are also concerned over the sale of drugs in the area, he said. In fact, Panambur Beach is one of the famous beaches of the coastal region which almost every tourist to Mangaluru, apart from local residents, likes to visit. Though the Panambur-Surathkal (7 km) and Surathkal-Sasihithlu (7 km) stretches of beachfront in Dakshina Kannada are the most sought- after visiting spots, open defecation by occupants on the beachfront early in the morning dissuades tourists from visiting these stretches.
As part of a campaign demanding action against occupants of these illegal structures, Youngsters Panambur and the Baikampady Mogaveera Mahasabha have been conducting regular beach cleaning programme. On Sunday morning, students from Government High School of Meenakaliya, led by their Hindi teacher Permanath Marne, joined Youngsters Panambur and other residents in the cleaning campaign.
Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar, who visited Meenakaliya Beach, said that shortly a survey will be carried out to identify sheds built illegally on government land. And, he said, necessary action will be taken to vacate them. Sridhar said that occupants of these sheds, though they have toilet
facilities are openly defecating on the beach between Meenakaliya and Hosabettu. “We will take the help of the police to act against those defecating on this stretch,” said the Commissioner . Mangaluru North MLA Y. Bharat Shetty said that there is no question of allowing open defecation on the beachfront.
Yathish Baikampady, the former CEO of Panambur Beach Tourism Development Project speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The drive was organized to create awareness on cleanliness. The youth clubs of the area organized a campaign on the beach stretch from Panambur- Meenakaliya. The residents want the beach stretch free from slums and keep the area clean. Those who have constructed huts on the government land illegally by the side of the beach and collect rent from migrant workers have not provided basic facilities, like toilets. As a result, open defecation has become common on the shore. The drive was to bring the issue to the notice of the authorities concerned. We do not want any illegal activities to take place on the shores of the beach in Mangaluru”