A rickety boom barrier is hardly a deterrent to visitors at Nettukuppam beach on the northernmost tip of the city.
Located in ward 1 of the Corporation, Nettukuppam is a quiet estuary where the brackish waters of Ennore Creek join the sea. The beach is spotless thanks to the absence of vendors and restaurants.
A broken concrete structure, which locals and visitors alike call the ‘broken bridge,’ is the most popular spot here. It was constructed, locals said, to hold a dredger at the creek’s mouth.
Groups of youngsters that come to the beach sit on the bridge and chat, take photographs. “The bridge extends into the sea and the spray from the water below hits you. During high tide, the water rises to great heights, nearly drenching you,” said T.G. Rakesh who had come with friends to the beach, all the way from Velachery.
Sunday was the first time at Nettukuppam for Arun Ravi, Tino Joseph and Rakesh. “Coming here was like an adventure. We took two trains and walked through a fishing hamlet to get here. It was worth the journey,” said Joseph.
The beach sees heavy crowds on weekends and during festivals. Otherwise it is fisherman’s land. Some visitors are lucky enough to buy fish and prawns, fresh off the nets, from the fisherfolk that fish in the creek.
“We discourage people from entering the water or sitting on the bridge during high tides. Last week, a boy lost his life when he swam out into the sea,” said Desappan, a fisherman and resident of Nettukuppam.
Chennai Central at The Hindu celebrates Madras Week
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