There can never be a superabundance of certain things. That rings true of any beach. Extend its surface area, and people’s appetite for beach-going being what it is, the extra space would hardly come across as extra. For illustration, one need not look any further than the Marina beach. South of the area traditionally defined as Marina Beach, a satellite beach (if one may call it so) has sprung up. (It is part of Marina beach, officially and otherwise, as visitors would also view it in the same light. Only that it would be marginally removed in geography, just the way the Perumbakkam wetland is removed from the Pallikaranai marsh by the measuring tape, despite being an organic part of it).
The choice of phrase is in fact infelicitous — where something “springs up”, there is a lack of volition, or at least focussed attention. Without a strong will and a sense of purpose, this vast expanse of coastal sands along Marina Loop Road — occupying a part of Nochi Kuppam and Domming Kuppam — could not have become an additional option for beach-goers. On its northern limits, this space is marked by the fishing boats and nets of Noochi Kuppam residents, and on its southern limits by the same implements used by those from Srinivasapuram-Pattinapakkam. Before it began to receive the same attention that is being bestowed on the main beach — that is, before it began to be visited by the surf rakes and other beach-cleaning machines towed by tractors — this space resembled an unsupervised toddlers’ play room. A staggeringly wide range of chaff and debris would be lying helter-skelter. Unoccupied, this space with all the trash was still an oasis of quiet between two bustling fishing settlements, and it was clearly waiting to be tapped as a leisure space.
(The section covering parts of the coast along Nochi Kuppam and Dooming Kuppam, falls in Ward 125 of Zone IX, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). This satellite beach is in this area.)
It took a larger plan for that to happen.
Not long ago, GCC spelt out its plans to step up beach cleaning with a set of independent engineers tasked with monitoring the daily clean-ups closely. A GCC official close to the development on Marina Loop Road, notes the regular cleaning of this section began around three months ago.
The official notes care is being taken to ensure commerce does not invade this “satellite beach”, and is actively kept in check. On the section of Marina Loop Road which lining this beach area, vehicles are parked, and so are some pushcarts seeing eatables. They roll off the road when the beach-goers vacate the sands.