Panambur Beach FILTHY again after Sunday (1 January ) Cleanup undertaken by District administration in association with Dakshina Kannada Union of Working Journalists (DKWJU), Mangaluru City Corporation, & CREDAI-Mangalore Chapter – Enraged at the unhygienic conditions of the food outlets at the beachside, Deputy Commissioner Ravi Kumar Shuts 10 Illegal Food Outlets, which have been running without trade licences.
Mangaluru: The beginning of New Year 2023 saw the District administration along with Dakshina Kannada Union of Working Journalists (DKWJU), Mangaluru City Corporation, & CREDAI-Mangalore Chapter taking the initiative of Panambur Beach Clean Up during the early morning hours of a bright Sunday morning on 1 January 2023. Even though these organizations did a good job out of courtesy in cleaning up the mess on the beach, when Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean visited Team Mangalorean visited Panambur Beach this morning (Monday, 2 January), was shocked to see garbage littered everywhere, including plastic water bottles, empty food containers, ice cream wrappers etc.
We have seen such cleanup drives organized by various organizations, Educational Institutions, and Coast Guard, among others, but once the cleanup is done on that day, the garbage is piled up again on the following day and this has been a routine happening for years. Such kind of cleanup drives are nothing but one daily activity, and more of a PUBLICITY STUNT- however, unless and until the Tourism Department authorities enforce strict laws and punish those who litter, Panambur Beach will remain filthy day by day-we have seen in the past and will see it again.
Another reason for visitors littering on the beach is the lack of garbage bins provided- you can hardly see any garbage bins along the beach, other than 3-4 bins kept at one corner of the beach. And the main culprits are the illegal food stalls who operate their eatery/drinks stalls but don’t provide garbage bins- or they will keep a tiny bucket to dispose of waste, for the use of hundreds of people visiting their stalls? If Panambur Beach looked clean a few hours after the Sunday cleanup in the morning, but late afternoon and evening the beach saw garbage scattered everywhere- and the pictures taken on Monday morning will prove it. And if not for the ragpickers who go around and pick up plastic and cardboard waste, for their living, the beach area would have been much worse every morning.
Every year on World Tourism Day, prominent Netas or DC or other big authorities from District Administration come and give BIG talks during a programme arranged to mark that day, promising that the Beach will be upgraded to International standards, with better facilities and infrastructure, but all those talks are nothing but fooling the public. Seems like their promises are like “We Don’t Practice What We Preach”- and I mean it since I have attended a bunch of these WTD programmes in the past. And for that matter, Panambur Beach has remained the same except for a New Entrance sign, good enough for visitors to click a photo, other than that the beach is still filthy and food stalls selling unhygienic food, posing risk to health. But do any authorities at the beach development dept care, other than DC took to task a few of the food stall owners, and made their stalls closed for not maintaining standards and running the place in unhygienic conditions?
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ravikumar M R who was taking part in the cleanup drive on Sunday, also made a surprise visit to food stalls operated by North Indians, including a few locals, and was shocked to see the food that was being served to the public in unhygienic conditions, and getting enraged shut down ten such stalls. Speaking to reporters DC said, ” I found that cabbage and tomatoes in the store room of an eatery were half-eaten by rats and worms. I directed the officials of the Health Department to conduct sample tests of food prepared by the eateries to ascertain whether they contained any harmful contents. Further action would be taken based on the findings of the lab report”.
He further added, “Some persons from Bihar operating Chaat shops had encroached upon a women’s toilet in the Sulabh Shauchalaya and had converted its two bathrooms, two toilets as store room-cum- restrooms. After vacating them, I made the toilet operational for use by women. Shame on such people who do such kind of illegal plans. To mislead tourists and other visitors to the beach, they had displayed a board that the toilet was meant for VIPs. I came to know that the persons managing the toilet were sending both women and men users to the toilet meant for men, after occupying the toilet meant for women. I also saw the sewage water from another toilet being let open to flow into the sea”.
“I found out that six food stalls were operated by Raj Kumar of Mumbai and Francis D’Souza was managing one shop, and as per preliminary information, both are not locals. The other three shops belonged to a Bengaluru person or an agency there. This is a serious matter which will be taken up further and suitable action would be taken accordingly. More attention will be given to maintaining the cleanliness of beaches and creating infrastructural facilities on beaches as they have the potential to promote tourism. Our beaches here attract not only locals, but from our state and country, and also foreigners. Hence the government is creating more investment opportunities to promote beach tourism. And that mass involvement in beach cleanliness activities is a good model,” added the DC.
It is learnt that regarding the trade licences of the out-of-state vendors, they have got the place on lease from NMPT, and have been operating their stalls with no proper documents. A freezer which was used by a bunch of these food stalls was found full of fungus, where seafood was stocked in it. A stall selling gobi Manchurian was using cheap adulterated frying oil. Water was being used over and over again to clean utensils, and the area was filled with stagnant water.
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