Worsening erosion at Golden Sands Resort public beach

GEORGE TOWN: Mitigation works for erosion at the Golden Sands Resort public beach has hit a snag after sand bags which were put in place were washed away by strong waves recently.

Checks by the New Straits Times at the site this morning showed more than 10 giant sand bags had been washed away, creating an uneven slope of sorts to the beach.

Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) education officer N.V. Subbarow said he was told by the locals there that part of the sand bags, put in place as a buffer to prevent worsening erosion, had given way.

"The mitigation works were completed more than a month ago. However, about a week ago, half of the sand bags 'collapsed', exposing a bare, uneven slope leading to the beach.

"Not only is it an eyesore, it is also a waste of money. Worse still, it is dangerous to beachgoers.

"And we are expecting stronger waves to hit. So, will all the sand bags be washed away? What will happen to the mitigation works then?" he asked.

Subbarow said the state government must come out with a more concrete solution to the worsening erosion problem in this part of the beach.

Back in August, the New Straits Times reported that the Batu Ferringhi beach was at risk of erosion.

Locals and visitors to the famed Batu Ferringhi beach had expressed concern that the beach might disappear due to aggressive erosion.

The Penang government had since acknowledged that erosion had worsened at the Golden Sands Resort public beach.

State Infrastructure Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari had said that the state had already approved an allocation for mitigation works at the public beach around the area.

Meanwhile, water sports operator Anuar Abdul Aziz, in his 50s, said regular beachgoers and foreign visitors to the famed beach had lamented on its current sorry state.

He said people were beginning to shun the stretch now.

"This is affecting our business. The erosion has worsened in the past year," he said.

When contacted, Zairil said it was not so much the sand bags collapsing but more a case of them being washed away by the waves.

"The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) will carry out repair works next week as they have forecast strong waves this week," he said.

Asked on a possible long-term solution, Zairil said sheet piles could be put up.

He, however, said it would cost a lot of money, "and we can't afford that right now."

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