Erra Matti Dibbalu, the red sand dunes in Visakhapatnam, might be on the cusp of losing their crimson beauty, as garbage is accumulating by the road leading to the place and within the area. Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal, near Bheemili, the Erra Matti Dibbalu are a site of great geological and archaeological heritage. It is a National Geo-heritage site, declared by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).
Heritage enthusiasts from Vizag, Sohan & Jayshree Hatangadi, visited Erra Matti Dibbalu on 20 December 2019 and captured its sorry state in a video. The road from Visakhapatnam, leading up to the place has garbage on its sides while the dunes themselves remain littered. The palm shades, set up by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), have become frequent drinking and gambling spots. Wooden steps to one of the elevated-shades are broken, making it inaccessible.
In the video, Mr. Hatangadi said, “The Tourism Department invites tourists to Erra Matti Dibbalu and sets up amenities for them and then, cannot do anything to maintain it and keep it clean.”
As one of the prominent geological sites in Andhra Pradesh, Erra Matti Dibbalu has to be preserved and promoted. Tourists visiting the place and grasping its red beauty, need to be responsible and not litter at the place.
These sand dunes are spread over an area, around 4 km in length and 2 km in width. The region is bounded by the Chittigadda (North-West) and Peddagadda (South-West) streams.
As per the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Visakhapatnam, these red sand dunes are as ancient as 1.8 million years old. They were formed over a period of time, due to the oscillating sea levels and the resulting exposure of the coastal sand to varying climatic conditions. The sand takes its red colour from the iron ore coating that exists over it.