Sea erosion haunts Kanyakumari's fishing hamlets, no public transport for 3 months

The problem of soil erosion may have no real solution.
Sea erosion haunts Kanyakumari's fishing hamlets, no public transport for 3 months
Sea erosion haunts Kanyakumari's fishing hamlets, no public transport for 3 months
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For the people living in coastal areas in Kanyakumari, sea erosion has been a issue that has plagued them for years.

A 1.5 kilometre coastal road stretch between Thengapatinam and Mullurthurai coast in Kanyakumari district has been badly affected due to sea erosion this year. 

The soil erosion has been so intense that bus services in the area have been stopped for the last three months. Most people in this stretch have to walk about two kilometres to reach other areas.

“For the last 17 years, Thangapattinam has been facing problems due to sea erosion. Now, for the last three months, there is no public transportation available in the area. People have to walk about two kilometres and fishermen have to spend about Rs. 150 to take fish in auto from Thangapattinam to the harbour,” J Jorthan, District President, Tamil Nadu Fishermen Federation.

Explaining how it has affected them in the past, Jorthan said, “Earlier, there were people living in Thangapattinam but many of them have shifted from there because their houses were damaged due to erosion. It is affecting close to eight fishing hamlets.”

He added that they have complained to the district authorities about the problem, but they keep saying that a proposal has been sent to the government. “The authorities need to take quick action,” said Jorthan.

Environmentalist Lal Mohan told The News Minute however says the government cannot do much. “It is a natural phenomenon because the sea is very deep in that area. Due to this, the wave action is more. When there is more wave action, there will be more sea erosion. The government cannot do much about it. But they should avoid building artificial structures in that area; it is an eco-sensitive area. The government is also trying to build the Enayam port and it could increase the sea erosion,” he said.

The project to reduce the effect of soil erosion will start soon, says the District Collector Sajjansingh R Chavan. “The government has sanctioned schemes to address the problem, we will start the work soon. From July to August, every year, the sea erosion appears in all these areas. We will be building rubble walls to reduce the effect of soil erosion,” he said.

Last year, 150 houses were damaged in Eraviputhenthurai, another coastal village in Thoothur panchayat in Kanyakumari district.   

A study by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2012 revealed that more than 41.4% of the 993.39km long coast of Tamil Nadu is vulnerable to erosion, stated a report.

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