Extend Loop Road to Besant Nagar: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court on Friday directed the State government as well as the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to consider the feasibility of reconstructing a road, that was reportedly in existence before the 1970s, connecting the Marina Loop Road, from Pattinampakkam to Besant Nagar.

Justices Vineet Kothari and R. Suresh Kumar issued the direction as part of a public interest litigation petition, through which they had undertaken a massive exercise of regulating numerous vendors on the Marina beach as well as the fish sellers on the Loop Road, connecting Light House and Pattinampakkam.

During the course of hearing, Justice Kumar told Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal that the DGS Dhinakaran Road had become highly congested of late, due to residences of ministers, judges as well as others having been located there and on the Greenways Road, next to it.

“As per a study, around 36,000 motor vehicles pass through the traffic junction next to the DGS Dhinakaran Salai during peak hours. The traffic is high during the morning and the evening hours. The congestion can be eased if an alternative is found,” the judge said.

He said that the Marina Loop Road, which now ends at Pattinampakkam, actually extended up to Besant Nagar before the 1970s, when a flood destroyed that portion of the road. Stating that the portions of the damaged road still exist, the judge asked the government and the Corporation to examine the possibility of reconstructing it.

“When we say examine the feasibility, kindly come up with some positive response. Don’t come back and say that it is an area under the Coastal Zone Regulation and therefore you cannot do anything about it and the road cannot be re-constructed. Show some seriousness and try to find a solution,” the judge said.

Later, the senior judge in the Bench directed the Corporation to ensure that only local fishermen’s families residing in the tenements abutting the Loop Road are allowed to sell their catch at the temporary as well as the permanent fish market that the civic body had planned to construct.

He also asked the Corporation to consider the feasibility of constructing two foot overbridges connecting the seaside of the Loop Road to the fish market so that fishermen can carry their catch without causing disturbance to traffic.

The judges recorded the submission of the AAG that so far, 269 fish vendors from Nochikuppam, 11 from Dooming Kuppam and 76 from Mullaima Nagar and Srinivasapuram were found to be regularly selling fish on the Loop Road. Apart from these, no outsider must be allowed to sell fish on the Loop Road, they ordered.

In so far as the 900 vendors to be allowed on the Marina beach, they said 60% of those licences should be given to those who are already doing business on the beach and the rest should be given to outsiders. All beneficiaries of the vending licences should be selected only through a draw of lots.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:15:10 PM |

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