Chennai corporation exploring feasibility of water sports at Marina, Commissioner tells HC

Corporation has decided to restrict the number of vendors to 900 and supply them colourful pushcarts.

Corporation has decided to restrict the number of vendors to 900 and supply them colourful pushcarts.   | Photo Credit: V_GANESAN

Says, special wheelchairs capable of moving on sand already available for the physically challenged

The Greater Chennai Corporation on Monday told the Madras High Court that it was exploring the feasibility of conducting water sports on the Marina beach and that special wheelchairs capable of moving on beach sand had already been made available free of cost at the beach for the benefit of the physically challenged.

A Division Bench of Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar was told by the Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash that as part of the beautification process, the vendors on the beach had been streamlined and arranged along the service road in 16 bays and three vertical rows perpendicular to the service road.

However, since the court had during the last hearing of the case, insisted on a better arrangement, it had now been proposed to shift the vendors from the bays along the service road and instead arrange all of them in nine vertical rows perpendicular to the service roads so as to enable a clear view of the sea from the roads, he said.

The Commissioner also stated that a total of 1,544 vendors were identified on the beach in 2017. Of them, 1,486 were issued with identity cards and the rest 58 did not turn up to collect the cards. However, a fresh enumeration exercise undertaken this year found 1,962 vendors on the beach and of them only 808 were in possession of the old ID cards.

Now, the civic body had decided to restrict the number of licensed vendors on the beach to 900 and supply to all of them colourful pushcarts made of fibre and steel. It would cost ₹27.4 crore to purchase the pushcarts and the money had already been sanctioned, Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal told the court.

Also a proposal had been forwarded to the Municipal Administration department for issuing smart cards to each of the 900 licenced vendors before handing over the pushcarts to them. This would ensure that the carts were returned on cancellation of licence of a particular vendor and allotted to the next licencee, the AAG added.

He also brought it to the notice of the court that 175 sanitary workers had been deployed on the beach on shift basis and that restrooms and toilets had been constructed on six different locations. Further, the beach had facilities to park 457 cars, 80 vans and buses and 2,271 two wheelers at any given point of time, the judges were informed.

For the safety of the people visiting the beach, regular patrols were conducted by the police. In order to avoid drowning, special police personnel on horseback and also on beach buggies had been engaged till 10 p.m. everyday. The corporation had also planned to inculcate civic sense among the people through awareness campaigns, the AAG said.

In so far as the issue of shifting the fish sellers from the loop road was concerned, the Bench was told that the corporation had obtained two acres of land for establishing a fish market. It had been planned to construct 300 temporary shops at a cost of ₹66 lakh and then establish a permanent market after obtaining Coastal Regulatory Zone clearance.

However, there were some difficulties in convincing the fishermen to vacate the loop road since they consider it to be their “ancestral right” to do business near the sea front but all efforts were on to shift them, the AAG said and sought time to update further progress. The judges accepted his request and adjourned further hearing to January 8.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:35:29 PM |

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