Lockdown: Beaches in M’luru wear deserted look; big blow to tourism industry

Team Udayavani, Apr 30, 2020, 11:24 AM IST

Photo credit: Satish Ira

Mangaluru: The port city of Mangaluru has plenty to marvel over, nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. This sleepy beach town is a tapestry of colors, culture, and flavors. There are a number of places to visit in Mangaluru and among them, beaches are the main tourist attractions.

Not only tourists, Mangaloreans too love to spend time on beaches with their family, friends, and dear ones. However, this year the beaches in the city wore a deserted look due to the lockdown owing to control the spread of novel Coronavirus. As a result, the water pollution level has dropped significantly and the water quality is improving. However, beach tourism in the district is heavily affected by this.

The street food vendors, kite sellers, water sports organizers who had a good source of income during the month of April and May, this year they have incurred huge loss and if the lockdown extends till the end of May, they might have to wait till September or November to get back to work again due to rainy season that starts in June.

CEO of Panambur Beach Tourism Development Project (PBTDP) Yathish Baikampady talking to Udayavani.com said, “Tourism industry not only in Mangaluru but through the world has been facing loss due to lockdown, however, the people’s health is more important and staying indoors is one of the safest things to do now.”

Yathish Baikampady

“Usually in the month of April and May, we generate good revenue as we witness a huge number of visitors from all over the country. However, this year it is not the same as the lockdown in place to control the spread of novel Coronavirus. We can generate income only if people visit beaches, play water sports, eat food items from our beachside vendors. Due to lockdown, we are not generating revenue,” informed Yathish.

Further speaking about the food vendors Yathish said, “The vendors pay us rent and with that money, we pay salary to the lifeguards and other workers. But now vendors are facing huge losses and have no other sources of income. Therefore, we are not collecting the rent from them, instead, we are helping them by giving groceries as most of them are migrants.”

When asked about beach pollution level Yathish said, “As people are not visiting beaches, the surrounding is fully clean and there is a huge drop in plastic pollution. However, there is no improvement in pollution due to the discharge of chemicals and oil from factories.”

“After the government lifts the lockdown we have to plan on how to open the beaches for the public because as soon as we allow the public to visit the beaches it will be crowded and will be difficult for us to manage the crowd,” he informed.

Photo credit: Satish Ira

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