Rs. 4.84 crore approved for makeover of city’s beachfront; shops to be relocated, sands to be cleaned

The Marina Beach is in for another makeover – this time, the space surrounding the statues, the children’s play area and the bus terminus is being spruced up. The Chennai Corporation Council, which met on Wednesday, approved an estimate of Rs. 4.84 crore for the works that include installation of high mast lamps and police watch towers.

Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy said that in the next stage, tenders would be floated after which it would be a matter of a month or so for work to commence. “The space around each of the statues will be developed based on a particular characteristic. There would be a short description in granite about the personality so that beach-goers also gain some knowledge,” he said. The design has been proposed by Alwarpet-based landscape architect K. Raghuraman.

The children’s play area will be the subject of special focus. Among other things, it would have a giant chess board where you can play and an ‘interactive’ fountain where the water will gush up when you clap your hands. On the western side of the road, the urban design pattern (the cream coloured pillars with a black insignia inside that can be seen on the compound walls) would be raised from beneath.

The bus terminus at Anna memorial will get a new design to complete the wave concept. This form will be achieved through tensile steel structures. The Corporation, which is in the process of enumerating the shops on the sand, has plans to regulate them. The shops will be relocated to specific locations on the sand at a cost of Rs.4.12 crore.

Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan told The Hindu that two rows of shops would come up near the MGR and Anna memorials, one row behind Kannagi statue, two rows behind Gandhi statue and another near the light house. “We will permit shops only at these spots. The other stretches would be free of hawkers and any kind of litter. We are interested in regulating the shops and ensuring that visitors to the beach have a good experience,” he said. Once the shops are in place, cleaning of sand would be intensified and the quality of the sand would be improved.

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