Chennai

Corpn. plans to make Marina accessible to the disabled

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Path is set to begin from the service lane behind Gandhi Statue and extend up to the sea

Earlier this month, several wheelchair users and persons with disabilities had the opportunity of going right up to the sea at Marina, owing to a temporary access pathway which had been installed to mark the International Day of Persons With Disabilities.

In a step towards making the facility a permanent one, the Greater Chennai Corporation has drafted a proposal. This is part of a larger project by the civic body to spruce up Marina Beach.

A hearing was held for Coastal Regulatory Zone approval for the proposed project by the Environment and Forests Department on Thursday. A Corporation official said that the proposal is still under process. Making the beach accessible to differently-abled persons has been a long-standing request from many disability rights organisations and activists. Persons with disabilities in Chennai are hoping for a safe pathway on the Marina to materialise in 2019.

The Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) had provided inputs to the Greater Chennai Corporation on the pathway. The accessible pathway was to begin from the service lane behind the Gandhi Statue and extend up to the sea for nearly 22m.

“The environment committee held a separate discussion with us following the hearing and expressed their concern about a particular spot where turtles are believed to nest. We want to ensure that we do not have a ramp at that spot and will be looking at other spots where the accessible pathway can be laid,” said Smitha Sadasivam, member of the DRA. Ms. Smitha further said that they will be approaching various disability groups as well as environmental activists for their inputs and support. “As the second longest beach in the world, we are very keen that it be made accessible. The committee too has been interested in our proposals and we have discussed its safety aspects besides the adaptations that can be put into place for the same with the corporation as well,” she added.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:24:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/corpn-plans-to-make-marina-accessible-to-the-disabled/article25737551.ece

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