With a mere announcement by the government and even before starting on the project, people from various locations of Kayalpattinam have called for protest against the move.
MS Salih, resident of Appa Palli Street, said though the government is eyeing for developments to boost tourism, Kayalpattinam, which’s too small a town, is not an ideal location and not preferable for recreation purposes. With all its traditions, values and moral behavior, people mostly in Kayalpattinam are deeply rooted in orthodox beliefs as the beach town is terribly devoid of entertainment, police station and there’s not even a single Tasmac shop. If any such ‘Blue Flag’ tag is to be bestowed on Kayalpattinam beach, which is located close to residential areas, to drive tourism, it would attract more private players to invest in allied infrastructure. Such developments could disturb the privacy of the locals and more importantly spoil the natural beauty of the beach and dilute the culture.
Hence, many people went out of their way to make clear their dislike for the ‘Blue Flag’ certification on the beach and to register their dismay, an online signature campaign was started by Kayalpattinam based Mass Empowerment and Guidance Association (MEGA) and it received an overwhelming response.
Now, an offline campaign has also been launched since Sunday to get opinions from the locals with around 50,000 people and represent it to the government, Salih told DT Next on Sunday.
Seyed Abdur Rehman, former chairman, Kayalpattinam Municipality, said scores of people in this historic town still retain cultural traditions from their Egyptian ancestry and claimed that any cultural shift in the name of development would pollute the beach. He said preserving the culture and tradition is more important than developments.
MM Mujahid, joint secretary MEGA, feared that any such development will turn it into a haven for anti-social elements.
Ahmed Sahib, another resident, said only a narrow ‘Sea Customs Road’ leads to the beach, which’s just about 500 meters away from residences and any tourism related industry would affect peace and stability.
However, Waheeda, former chairperson, welcomed the move to beautify the beach as it remains in poor condition sans basic facility.