Sea erosion, the destroyer hasn’t let up

Published : 9:00 am  May 26, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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Coastal beaches from Dehiwela  to Moratuwa shrinking fast

By H.M.Dharmapala, Kusal Chamath and Indika Manoj
People living along the southern coastal belt from Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia,  Ratmalana and Moratuwa have been facing the issue of sea erosion for a long time. Restaurants and other business establishments catering to tourists were the worst affected. More than ten tourist restaurants have been extensively damaged and about six houses destroyed through sea erosion. Residents of the area also pointed out that more that 100 houses along the beach were in danger.

They said when about 70 houses were destroyed by sea erosion last year but that although the authorities promised to provide land to the affected families in safer locations no action had been taken so far. They were of the opinion that sea erosion worsened after the construction of the Port City began. A resident of Wedikanda, Ratmalana, M.Pushpa Kanthi said the house in front of her own house was razed to the ground last year and that she was living in constant fear of her house also being destroyed.

More than ten tourist restaurants have been damaged and  about six houses destroyed through sea erosion. More that 100 houses along the beach were in  danger

“ We have been compelled to stay here for want of land elsewhere to relocate. The distance between the beach and the railway line is less than 12 metres now but in the past the edge of the beach was more than 100 metres away. The boulders laid by the Coast Conservation Department last year are now  buried in sand. Whenever we are displaced officials provide us dry rations without providing a permanent solution to the danger facing us,” she lamented.sea2

Several tourist hotel owners said their requests to the authorities to build a strong breakwater to prevent waves eating into the beaches had fallen on deaf ears.
Meanwhile a senior official of the Rathmalana Divisional Secretariat said sea erosion in the coastal belt from Dehiwala to Ratmalana was experienced every year, but had worsened this year.

“Many families living in the endangered area wanted land in towns and  were not prepared to settle in the areas we proposed. It was not possible to find land in areas they wanted. Several others who received land have put up shanties along the beach again after selling their lands,” he said.