Interim order restrains authorities from allowing shops on entire stretch

The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted an interim injunction restraining authorities from allowing anybody to carry on business and run shops or eateries on the entire stretch of the Marina beach here.

The First Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan passed the interim order on a petition by one K. Balaji, president of Gandhiji Consumer Forum here. The Bench admitted the petition and posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.

The petitioner, who is a lawyer, said the Marina beach, which was the second longest beach in the world, was today “the dirtiest beach in the world.” The beach was in a pathetic and shabby condition and foreign tourists were afraid of visiting it.

The careless and negligent attitude of the authorities had affected the reputation of the city, he said.

According to the petitioner, several shops and vendors had been allowed to do business all over the beach, with shops in temporary structures and merry-go-rounds finding a permanent place on the sands. Failure to implement the Food Safety and Standard Act had allowed all sorts of unhygienic food to be sold. The eatables sold were adulterated, substandard, unhygienic and injurious to health. Newspapers had highlighted the pathetic condition of the Marina beach.

To bring the beach to international standards and restore it to its past glory as contended by the Chennai Metropolitan Beach Committee, drastic steps should be taken, he said.

Mr. Balaji said he had sent representations to the authorities this month; but they had not been considered till date. Hence, the present petition, he said.

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