The number of unauthorised shops set up in recent months on the beachfront has now crossed 500

Reports of a large number of families belonging to fishing settlements having set up shops on the Marina in the last few months, have put the Chennai Corporation on the back foot.

A few months ago, the police with the support of Corporation zonal officials generated a list of 1,212 vendors on the beachfront, who would be relocated and compensated, as the Corporation had a restoration project in mind for the beach.

After this, there was a flurry of unauthorised vendors scrambling to set up shops on the Marina. The stretch between Kannagi Statue and Gandhi Statue was the most sought-after, and the number of additional illegal shops set up in recent months has now crossed 500.

Chennai 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 so far, none of these vendors have removed their shops.

The police have now warned the civic body to avoid any step that would likely create a law-and-order problem, and so, Corporation officials intend to put their plan to remove encroachments from the beachfront, on hold.

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