TAMIL NADU

Beachgoers fined for littering on Marina

PAYING THE PENALTY: A Corporation official issuing a receipt for an ``administrative charge'' of Rs. 25 collected from a group of beachgoers, for littering on the Marina on Tuesday. — Photo: K. Pichumani

PAYING THE PENALTY: A Corporation official issuing a receipt for an ``administrative charge'' of Rs. 25 collected from a group of beachgoers, for littering on the Marina on Tuesday. — Photo: K. Pichumani  

CHENNAI AUG. 26. Beachgoers today were caught unawares as officials of the Chennai Corporation who were lying in wait, imposed spot fines on those who threw garbage indiscriminately on the beach.

Armed with a receipt book, the officials spread out on the Marina in different teams and charged the visitors up to Rs. 25 if they were found littering the place. The `sudden' operation was only to ``sensitise the beachgoers that they should not throw any rubbish on the Marina,'' said the officials.

In a single evening's swoop, the penalty collection was Rs. 1,250, said the zonal officials at the spot. However, they denied that it was a `sudden' drive. Regular visits were made by the civic officials over the last week to bring about discipline among bunk shopowners. The beach goers were asked to keep the beach clean and dump rubbish only in dustbins. The civic officials also cautioned the kiosks and bunk shops selling edibles on the beachfront today that they too would be fined if garbage was found scattered around their shops.

What the civic body was collecting was only `administrative charges', said the officials, adding the drive was more to deter the public from littering the beach than to collect fines.

This evening, individual or members of a group caught tossing refuse on the beach, paid up silently without raising any protest. ``We are hopeful that the message would sink in. We are telling them that it was not to harass them, but simply to deter them from dirtying the beach,'' said a zonal official.

Officials of Triplicane and Mylapore zones were involved in the drive.

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