Erra Matti Dibbalu, also known as Red Sand Hills, is a National-Geo Heritage site, located near Bheemili in Visakhapatnam. Earlier in December, heritage enthusiasts, Sohan and Jayshree Hatangadi, visited Erra Matti Dibbalu. The duo noticed that the road leading up to the place had garbage on its sides and litter in the dunes. Added to that, the palm shades set up by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), have become frequent drinking and gambling spots. With an aim to conserve the red sand dunes, they organised a clean-up drive on 5 January 2020.
The initiative was held in association with the Indian Navy and city-based NGO, India Youth for Society (IYFS) led by Appala Reddy, M Jagdish Kumar, Devi Akula and Chandra Sekhar. Several other NGOs, including Junior Chamber International (JCI) Vizag, and Green Face Society, also took part in the event. Volunteers from Indian Navy, led by Lieutenant Sam from INS Kalinga, students of St Joseph’s College, and representatives from the Indian Dental Association (IDA) of Vizag Chapter actively participated in the clean-up drive. The team was also assisted by the photographer, BK Agarwal, and volunteers such as Captain Kali Prasad and Anita Rao.
Over 150 members collected a tonne of glass bottles, and 650 kgs of plastic waste, from around one kilometre stretch of Erra Matti Dibbalu. Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) provided the truck to carry the trash, while IYFS sponsored the gloves and bags to collect the garbage.
Besides the ones in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, Erra Matti Dibbalu in Visakhapatnam is another place boasting the red sand dunes in the world. As it is one of the rare marine geological formations, the Erra Matti Dibbalu has to be preserved. It is high time the tourists visiting the place hold responsibility and not fill the crimson beauty with litter.