Come next month, the famous Marina Beach here, one of the longest beaches in the world, will sport a fresh look thanks to a Rs 17 crore beautification project undertaken by the government.
A famous spot on the tourist map and the much-sought after place by the Chennaites, Marina with a long shoreline was given a makeover by the then British Governor Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff in the early 1880s.
The beach lost much of its pristine beauty over the years due to various reasons such as pollution, prompting the government to take up the project under which facilities like viewing galleries, landscaping, walkers path and fountains were being created.
“More than 85 per cent of the beautification work has been completed and the rest is expected to be over by this month end,” Chennai Corporation Mayor M Subramaniam told PTI.
“We have taken careful measures in beautifying the beach without affecting its existing eco system,” he added.
He said the project was evolved after taking the opinion of stake holders and old timers.
Along the Marina, the prestigious Madras University Building, the Palace of Chepauk, the Presidency College, DGP Office offers a view into the British architecture.
Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said the state government funded 75 per cent of total cost of the project, including grant of Rs five crores by Central government, and remaining 25 per cent will be met by the civic body.
Mr. Lakhoni said in order to scatter the visitors to a length of 3.10 KM, 14 galleries had been constructed. “Other initiative such as formation of landscaping, construction of four metre wide internal walker path along the sands and setting up stainless steel pergolas fountains along the beach area were also undertaken,” he added.
“To give more facility to the tourists coming to the beach, it had been proposed to construct an internal walker path on the Eastern side of Kamarajar Salai”, running along the Marina, he said.
Apart from this, a well designed and high-tech lighting arrangement had also been put in place to enable the visitors enjoy the scenic beauty of the beach even during the nights.
“As a part of beautification process, the government had already banned the use of plastics in and around the marina beach,” he said.
“The Corporation will take severe action against vendors found selling plastic bags or other banned products in the beach,” he said, adding selling of water packets is also banned on the beach.
The civic body would soon seek the help of social service organisations to set up water purification plants along the beach to provide clean drinking water free of cost, he said.
Other facilities such as setting up parking areas, creation of children playing area, facility for physically challenged people setting up food court were also under taken in this project, the official said.