Feasible to extend Marina loop road till Besant Nagar, Corporation Commissioner tells HC

The Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash on Wednesday told the Madras High Court that it is feasible to lay a road connecting the Marina beach loop road with Besant Nagar after obtaining Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance and evicting encroachments at Srinivasapuram and Urur Kuppam.

In a status report filed before Justices Vineet Kothari and R. Suresh Kumar, the Commissioner said, a study carried out, as per the earlier directions of the court, found that it was feasible to lay a road from Pattinambakkam to Besant Nagar along the alignment of a broken bridge that had got damaged a few decades ago.

The Commissioner however said, it would not be “purposeful” to construct two foot overbridges on the existing loop road as suggested by the court to ensure that crossing of fishermen does not hinder free movement of vehicular traffic. The official said, the width of the road was just 60 metres and hence the bridges may not be necessary.

Further, pointing out that only two fishermen, at a time, carry around 40 to 50kg of their catch from the sea to the other side of the loop road, Mr. Prakash said, it prima facie appeared that the bridges need not be constructed though a feasibility report on them was still awaited. He added that work on constructing a temporary fish market on the loop road was afoot.

Stating that the tenders received for construction of the market were opened on March 5, he said, the letter of acceptance to the successful tenderer would be issued on Saturday and the construction work would be completed by June this year. This arrangement would prevent the fish sellers from squatting on the loop road.

In so far as regulating the vendors on the beach was concerned, the Commissioner said, the corporation had decided to follow the court’s advice to grant 60% (540) of licences to existing vendors on the beach and the rest (360) to those who fall under the general pool. Accordingly, it had issued identity cards to those falling under the first category.

Applications had been called for from those who want to get licences under the general pool and the process was under way. After the report was filed on Wednesday, the judges decided to hear the case on Thursday to accommodate a request made on behalf of Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 5:18:26 PM |

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