In response to the Madras High Court stressing on the need to convert the Marina beach into a world class beach within a time frame, the Greater Corporation Chennai (GCC) informed the court on Monday that it has been decided to provide smart carts vendors made of fiberglass and steel to ensure uniform space for all the vendors and to beautify the beach.
Appearing on behalf of GCC, Additional Advocate General SR Rajagopal told the bench that State level project sanctioning committee and Municipal Administration Secretary would give administrative sanction for providing 1,500 smart carts. Each cart would cost around Rs 1.80 lakh, he said, adding that a couple of hundred carts would be used at the Besant Nagar beach.
He also submitted that barring at one place where the shops would be set up in a ‘U’ format wherein there would exist two perpendicular lines and a horizontal line (opposite the Vivekananda Memorial), it has been decided to arrange the shops in nine vertical rows perpendicular to the service roads so as to enable better and clear sea view from the roads.
Also, noting that there are 1,962 shops at present, of which only 808 shop vendors possess the UID cards, he said regular cleaning of the gallery, footpath, service road and sand area would be undertaken. For this, 175 sanitary workers have been deployed at the beach on shift basis. Restrooms and toilets have been provided in six locations and two more, which were newly constructed, are being maintained through private contracts.
The GCC Commissioner G Prakash stated in the status report that special wheelchairs that can move on the sand are kept available at the beach for disabled persons free of cost, and an elaborate study was proposed to be conducted regarding the feasibility of conducting water sports.
Despite repeated insistence, the fishermen were refusing to vacate the premises on loop road, the commissioner said, adding that land measuring two acres have been obtained for the construction of the fish market by providing around 300 temporary shops at an estimated cost of Rs 66 lakh with 6,500 sq ft parking facility.
In order to bring the fishermen under the provisions of the Street Vendors Act and to provide them with license for the selling fish in their allotted areas, enumeration process would commence soon.
But the process was delayed due to ongoing talks with fishermen and their associations, he said.
He also noted that fish market would be constructed after getting necessary CRZ clearance, and added that the regulatory authority had issued a direction to the Corporation not to carry out any activity other than relaying of road with cement concrete with footpath, cycle track and storm water drain.
With regard to parking facilities, there are 457 parking slots available for cars, 2,271 parking slots for two-wheelers, and 80 parking slots for vans and buses, the status report said. The bench directed the counsel appearing for the Corporation to put forth the CRZ regulations by January 21.