The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has proposed the beautification of three beaches in Mumbai – Erangal Beach, Silver Beach and Daanapani Beach.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the Maharashtra Coasal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has also given approval for the three beaches in Madh Island in a March 8 meeting.
However, environmentalists are unhappy with the proposal to construct protection walls at these beaches, as they believe it will only cause more damage to the beaches and the sand there.
Proposal for Erangal Beach
Erangal Beach suffers from erosion, which gets severe during heavy rainfall and makes the beach inaccessible. The MMB has proposed a safety wall and the development of amenities for visitors, according to the HT report.
The proposed project is expected to help reduce erosion, conserve the beach and boost local tourism. The MMB officials presented that the wall is proposed for the protection of a nearby coastal stretch on which villagers have built their houses.
Proposal for Silver Beach
Reportedly, the MMB, at Silver Beach in Madh Island, has proposed an anti-sea erosion bund along with the construction of amenities for visitors. Strong currents cause soil erosion at Silver Beach, which makes it dangerous and affects its tourism value. Therefore, the MMB has proposed the anti-sea erosion bund along with provision of recreational facilities to visitors.
Proposal for Daanapani Beach
Similar beautification will be done at Daanapani Beach by the MMB. The proposal involves the construction of a safety wall as an erosion control measure for the beach along with the development of basic public amenities such as a walking track, cobble stone pathway, bio-toilets, solar lights, and a horticulture garden.
However, environmentalists are against the construction of protection walls on beaches. They believe that such walls will only accelerate erosion and cause more damage to the beaches and the sand there.
Reportedly, an environmentalist, Dr Stalin also argued that the MCZMA is a toothless rubber stamp body that clears blatantly illegal constructions in CRZ (coastal regulation zone).
Instead of constructing anti-erosion bunds, environmentalists suggest that the priority of the MMB should be the protection of sand on the beaches.
Sand on beaches act as natural sponges, and help by water soaking and adds an essence of the natural beauty of the shores and beaches. It also works as a flood control mechanism. People visit these places to enjoy the beauty of sand.
Nandakumar Pawar, an environmentalist, was quoted as saying that both MCZMA and MMB need to understand the significance of these intertidal, natural protections and should not indulge in reckless spending of public funds, which will cause permanent damage to the natural beauty of the beaches and result in hardship to the citizens.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)