Beach constructions flout CRZ norms
VISAKHAPATNAM: Massive construction works are going on along the Vizag-Bheemili Beach Road in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and ironically, it is the government bodies who are permiting such constructions and putting up boards regarding the details of the upcoming project. Though the CRZ norms state that no new permanent or concrete structure should come up at least half a kilometre (500 metres) from the sea coast, several hotels, resorts and structures have come up on Beach Road, especially between Rushikonda and Bheemili, during the last few years. The latest being a 4,966 square yard kalyanamandapam at Rushikonda, barely a few metres away from Sai Priya Resort. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) member Shabnam Patel said, "It's surprising to see how the government can give permission to such permanent structures at the cost of coastal environment. Sometimes, it is for a hotel or convention centre or at times a function hall. There are already sea-view star hotels and resorts existing in the city where meetings and functions can be held. There's no need for creating noise and environment pollution in a serene ambiance and damage the coastal ecology further." Melville Smythe, an employee of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) who teaches surfing at Rushikonda Beach, said, "Being associated with Rushikonda and Vizag for many decades, I have seen how private players keep expanding their properties along the beach, grab land gradually and start construction on them and discharge untreated waste into the sea. The upcoming kalyanamandapam will not do anything good for the environment, rather will worsen the prevailing pollution. There is absolutely no need for a noisy function hall with bright lights so close to the sea. Already, Rushikonda beach is battered by erosion. It would be detrimental for the environment and marine life."