Puducherry: In a coastal area, where would you normally have a sand sculpture? The beach, obviously. But in Puducherry, it had to come up on a tar road instead because there was just not enough sand left on what was once a beautiful beach.
Remember the song "Once there was a river, now there's a stone?" That's exactly what's happened to the beach.
A fishing harbour here had already led to massive erosion. And to make matters worse, the Puducherry government and a private company were all set to construct a Rs 2500 crore deep sea port. Public pressure resulted in the Environment Ministry stopping the construction of all new ports in the country.
"We've been filling sand. Total neglect. People need to connect with nature," said Probir Banerjee, Coordinator, Pondy Can
The Puducherry government still seems to be waiting for the ban on new ports to be lifted.
"Whenever there is development, there will be problems," said V Vaithilingam, Chief Minister, Puducherry.
And that 'problem' is nothing short of an environmental disaster waiting to happen, if the port does come up.