Corporation plans colourful pushcarts on Marina

‘Think big’ and convert the Marina into a neat, clean and world class beach within the next six months, says Judge

December 06, 2019 01:24 am | Updated 01:24 am IST - CHENNAI

The Greater Chennai Corporation on Thursday informed the Madras High Court of its ambitious plan of purchasing colourful pushcarts, using around ₹32 crore allotted for beautification of the Marina beach, and handing them over to licensed vendors in order to ensure uniformity besides beautifying the surroundings.

A Division Bench of Justices Vineet Kothari and R. Suresh Kumar were told by Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal that the push carts would be of an uniform size of seven by three feet and they would be painted in catchy colours to give a good feel to those who visit the beach.

Stating that the funds for the project had already been allocated, the AAG said, the carts would be made to park in a disciplined fashion along the beach. In case a licence of a vendor gets cancelled for not conforming to food safety standards and cleanliness, the cart would be confiscated and handed over to next licencee, he added.

Impressed with the idea, the judges directed the law officer to submit the details of the plan in writing by December 16. They also insisted that the vendors on the beach should be regulated within specified enclosures since letting them get scattered all over the beach was the primary cause for littering on a large scale.

Though the Corporation had closed the enumeration exercise after having identified 1,486 vendors on the beach, there were still complaints of many having been missed out. If others have to be added to the list, the civic body would be left with no choice but to restrict the permissible number and select the licenced vendors through lots, he said.

In so far as shifting the fish sellers from the loop road on the Marina was concerned, Mr. Rajagopal told the court that the corporation had identified two acres of land for establishing a market for them. One acre could be used to construct the market and the other could be utilised for parking the vehicles of customers, he said.

Nevertheless, he added that there was no consensus among the fish sellers over shifting to the new market since they were bothered about their livelihood, he added. At this point, Justice Kothari said, it must be borne in mind by all concerned that the beach was meant for the general public and not for the traders.

The fish sellers must be made to realise the necessity to keep the beach clean and neat and asked to shift voluntarily without the use of force. And until they get shifted, the corporation could also consider laying platforms for them on both sides of the loop road so that they do not hinder free movement of pedestrians and vehicles, the judge said.

Pointing out that many foreign countries and neighbouring States within the country were using their beaches to promote tourism, the former Acting Chief Justice of the High Court advised the Chennai Corporation to “think big” and convert the Marina into a neat, clean and world class beach within the next six months.

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