Batpady residents heave a sigh of relief as connectivity is restored

They were almost cut-off from the mainland for over seven months after sea erosion destroyed a portion of the road

Residents of Batpady abutting Kerala to the South of Mangaluru heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday as the Public Works Department (PWD) gave finishing touches to a temporary road thereby restoring connectivity that was lost about seven months ago.

About 500 metres of Someshwara-Uchchila-Batpady fisheries road near Batpady end-point was swallowed by the raging waves of the Arabian Sea during the monsoon of 2020. It was not a new development as the authorities and residents knew years ago that the sea would swallow the shoreline and destroy the fisheries road. Yet, the administration had not made any arrangements to protect the shoreline.

Former gram panchayat member Hameed Batpady on Saturday told The Hindu that the PWD was working towards restoring the last connectivity . More than 15 households had remained almost cut off from the mainland.

Abdullah Batpady, another resident of the area, said authorities’ failure to build two more groyens in the sea towards Batpady end-point had resulted in escalated erosion of the shoreline. The government was building groyens on the seashore and reefs off the shore between Uchchila and Batpady under the ADB-funded Someshwara Shoreline Protection Project to protect the shore that was subject to sea erosion following construction of the South Breakwater for Mangaluru fishing harbour at the mouth of Netravathi-Phalguni rivers.

Temporary structure

PWD assistant executive engineer Chandrashekhar said the road was being restored as an immediate measure with available funds of ₹49 lakh. It was to restore the lost connectivity for the residents as well as to facilitate progress of the tourism project being undertaken at Batpady end-point, he said.

Though a sea protection wall was needed at the affected stretch for the safety of the restored road, it was said that fresh sand dunes get formed once ADB project’s groyens and off-shore reefs give the expected results. Upon formation of fresh sand dunes, the department would either build a concrete or a bitumen road on the stretch, he said. Otherwise, it would have to wait for construction of the shore protection wall, Mr. Chandrashekhar added.

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