The Chennai City Police has written to the Chennai Corporation asking the civic body to construct watch towers at three spots on the Marina Beach as part of the security improvement measures.
Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran said that the beach attracted a large number of visitors every day and such watch towers would help in better crowd management and intensifying security.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Shakeel Akhter said that apart from complaints about small crimes, the police were also getting reports about illegal activities on the Marina. Against this backdrop, there was a need for some kind of permanent police base on the beach. “We would also be installing cameras with which we can monitor the crowd better. These visuals would be monitored from a centralised location. We want to install such facilities at the Besant Nagar beach too.”
Recently, a student was robbed of his mobile phone, laptop and cash at knife-point on the Marina. There was also an attempt to kidnap a child sometime ago.
There have also been complaints of parked vehicles going missing. The Corporation has appointed 21 security personnel to guard its installations.
Prabhat Bhuddha Dev, a resident of Chepauk and frequent visitor to the Marina, said that though there were enough policemen on the beach, quite a large amount of space was taken up by the shops. “The establishments not only litter the beach but also make it difficult for visitors to walk on the sand. Sundays are especially crowded. It would be nice if the shops are also regulated.”
The Chennai Corporation clears about 40 tonnes of garbage every day from the Marina. Rough estimates show that the number of shops selling toys and eatables has increased from 1,000 to over 2,000.
Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said that steps would be taken to remove the shops in coordination with the police.