Chennai’s iconic beaches including the Marina and the Elliot’s will get a makeover with funding from the Central government to promote beach tourism.
Work on retrofitting parks along the Marina and Besant Nagar beaches will start this month, said an official. The cost of the Marina makeover is estimated at ₹12.5 crore and that of the Besant Nagar beach at ₹8.5 crore.
“Eight beach-cleaning machines will be procured. Currently, one machine is being used to clean the Marina beach sands,” said an official.
Five of the new cleaning machines will be put to work on the stretch of the Marina from Labour Statue to Light House. However, the stretch from Light House to Srinivasapuram, where a large number of fisher settlements are located, will be left to itself.
A proposal to give a facelift to the stretch from Light House was shelved following protests from fishermen. In 2014, the Corporation prepared a project report for walkways, benches, a gallery, bicycle tracks, concrete roads, service trenches, rainwater trenches and streetlight fittings at a cost of ₹40 crore for the 2.8-km stretch from Light House to Foreshore Estate. The road and stormwater drains were completed while the other components were shelved.
“Access to the beach will improve. Beach approach facility for persons with disability will be developed near Gandhi Statue and Kannagi Statue,” said an official. Elliot’s beach will also get such facilities.
Information centres will be located at various spots along the beaches.The Corporation will develop such facilities and personnel from the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation will man them to guide beach-goers. The Marina will get modern toilets in two more locations.
The civic body will develop watch towers, offer facilities such as beach umbrellas for visitors and improve the promenade.
The work will be completed in September.