The move is intended to regularise shops on the beach front

The Chennai Corporation will soon take steps to get control of the sands of the Marina Beach. Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan said that presently the land belongs to the Public Works Department.

“If we have control of the land, it will help us regularise the shops on the beach front. We are ensuring that no new encroachments take place,” he said.

This proposal follows a request from Leader of Opposition Saidai P.Ravi in the Corporation Council to regularise the shops on the beach. “We can mark space for the shops and give tokens to the shopkeepers. The shops can be on the side of the inner road. They are spoiling the beauty of the beach, which is the second longest in the world,” he said.

Y.Aruldas of the Unorganised Workers Federation (Tamil Nadu) alleged that many shops were controlled by local politicians, who took “advances” to let out “space” on the sand.

“No individual can sell their goods there without the consent of these influential persons. Many vendors would be employed with someone else and have to pay them a certain amount on a regular basis,” he claimed.

Mr.Karthikeyan said that the civic body was studying if the shops could be given some kind of [space] allotment. “We will conduct a survey of the shops,” he added. The civic body, which owns the landscaped area, clears garbage from the beach front.

B.Venkataramanan, a resident of East Tambaram, who used to frequent the Marina with his family, said that too many shops on the beach led to overcrowding.

“People come there for the shops rather than having fun on the sand or the water,” he said.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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