Varkala Cliff: District administration seeks municipality report on illegal constructions

According to officials of the Varkala Municipality, the constructions and growing human activity poses a risk to the stability of the cliff and safety of the visitors.
 Varkala Cliff
Varkala Cliff Photo | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Amid growing threat of erosion and landslides on the Varkala Cliff, the Varkala Municipality has launched a comprehensive survey to identify illegal structures located on the edge of the cliff within 5 to 10 metres.

The survey to mark the new boundaries was carried out following directions from the district collector in the wake of landslide threats and rampant erosion posing danger to the visitors.

According to officials of the Varkala Municipality, the constructions and growing human activity poses a risk to the stability of the cliff and safety of the visitors.

A district administration official said that direction has been given to the Varkala Municipal secretary to submit a report on all unauthorised structures located on the edge of the cliff.

“We are expecting the report to be submitted in a week. Necessary actions will be taken after conducting a site visit by a team from the district administration,” said an official of the district disaster management authority. The municipality authorities have launched the survey and are hoping to complete it in seven to ten days and submit a report to the district collector.

“We have been asked to identify and report all the structures located within 5 to 10 metres from the edge of the cliff. There are several vulnerable points and the cliff is collapsing rampantly. We are exploring the possibility of invoking the Disaster Management Act and removing the illegal structures,” said a senior official of Varkala Municipality.

The municipality authorities are planning to conduct a survey of all the properties in the North and South Cliffs. “The survey will take more time than expected as it is a tedious task,” the official added.

The tourism stakeholders are worried about the move. Earlier, the Varkala Municipality authorities and district administration had jointly knocked down many extensions and temporary structures.

The authorities are trying to sabotage the tourism industry here, said Sanjay Sahadevan, advisor to the Varkala Tourism Development Association.

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