The Chennai Corporation’s task just got tougher with a flurry of unauthorised vendors scrambling to set up shops on the Marina.
A few months ago, the police and the Chennai Corporation generated a list of 1,212 vendors who would be relocated on the beach and compensated, as part of Marina restoration project. But with the police failing to act against unauthorised structures, the civic body is unable to control the mushrooming of vendors.
The stretch between Kannagi Statue and Gandhi Statue is the most sought after, and the number of illegal shops has now crossed 1,500. At least two to five shops are set up every day. Vendors pay anything between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 1.25 lakh to political groups for a spot on the beach, a source said.
The Corporation made a public announcement a few months ago asking vendors to remove all illegal structures, in order to facilitate the restoration of the beach. But the vendors have not removed the shops so far, according to civic body officials. As the tendering process for new structures is under way, the Corporation officials plan to remove the illegal structures with police support shortly.
Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy told the Chennai Corporation council, a few months ago, that the civic body would soon beautify the beach. He said the civic body would regulate vendors based on the results of a study conducted on the beach.
The civic body proposes to design a new arrangement of aesthetic structures for shops on the 3.1-km-long beach.