For the first time in several decades, the number of tourists coming to Rushikonda Beach in Visakhapatnam, one of busiest beaches in the city, has come down drastically. The reason: beach erosion.
The tourism season usually starts by the end of October, although this year tourists started flocking the beach early because of Dasara and Diwali falling in October itself, according to media reports.
But presently, entering even five to eight feet into the sea seems to be dangerous.
Due to the beach erosion, the shops near the beach are on the verge of collapse, say the marine police.
Since last year, the beach has been eroding, because of which most parts of the beach have vanished. Due to the heavy tides, authorities restricted tourists from venturing to the beach, which has affected the flow of tourists. The vendors on the beach have been badly hit.
The New Indian Express reported that:
â€śIn the mornings the waters lash the Police outpost. We are restricting people from entering the sea at certain places because of the high tides. In some areas near the under-construction beach shacks are expected to be safe,â€ť said B Srinivasa Rao, a Marine police constable at Rushikonda.
Earlier this year some of the sellers had to move away from the beach towards the parking area and put up make-shift shops in order to escape the impact of erosion. The gap between the coast and the sea has reduced to a mere 50 metres from 250 metres due to erosion.
Previously the tourists used to come and spend the day at the beach, but they donâ€™t find the beach attractive enough to stay longer.
The HIndu quoted Ramana, who sells shell toys at Rushikonda:
Our shops used to be on the other side of the kutcha road but now we have moved to this side of the eroded road. The lone stall that is surviving on the beach side is also on the edge and may have to be moved sooner or later
Also, the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) had spent around Rs 8 crore for development of Rushikonda Beach with various amenities and recreational facilities.
But the beach seems to be losing its charm due to the erosion.