Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Silver Beach losing its sheen - The Hindu

Silver Beach losing its sheen

A.V. Ragunathan

Steps will be taken to clean up the beach, says official

CUDDALORE: The Silver Beach here is losing its charm and shrinking in dimension. By its soft and white sands and easy accessibility, the beach used to be a major attraction. But of late it has become a victim of neglect and vandalism.

During monsoon the Gedilam and the Pennaiyar are in spate and drain the surpluses into the sea. In the lean season, these rivers carry mostly sullage and industrial effluents. The telltale marks of the polluted seawater can now be witnessed on the Silver Beach. The sands have turned revoltingly black and with garbage strewn all over the beach is not any better than a dumping yard.

After the dredging of the backwater, the sand expanse has been minimised, just leaving narrow space for the tourists. The row of colourful benches on the sea front was now dislodged. The swings and slides in the children’s park were all in poor shape.

The stray dog menace is quite frightening. The leftovers such as carry bags, paper plates and other sundry items on the beach remained uncleared for days together.

A makeshift road leading to an adjoining coastal hamlet cuts into the beach and commutation through this stretch is barred with a rope. The high-mast lamps are malfunctioning and the man-made fountain has fallen into disuse.

As the sordid happenings such as drowning occur periodically the beach has become less attractive than ever.

The beautification of the beach done at huge expenditure was a short-lived affair as the tsunami washed away every thing.

Therefore, to erase the bitter memories, the then district administration acted in good time to reconstruct the whole thing with huge outlay. But now, sheer negligence and lack of civic sense have disfigured the beach.

When contacted Cuddalore Municipal commissioner Liaqath Ahmed Papa said the role of the local people was also important in the upkeep of the beach. He said steps would be taken to clean up the beach.

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