Marina beach revamp to begin anew

TH-MARINA_BEAUTIFI_2262358fThe stretch between Lighthouse and Foreshore Estate will get a facelift soon. 

Proposal for a gallery and benches on the sands dropped

The Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority has given conditional permission for the Marina beautification project initiated by the Chennai Corporation.

The stretch between Lighthouse and Foreshore Estate is set to be revamped. But various conditions have been put forth for the project in order to address concerns raised by environmental activists.

The Coastal Zone Authority has asked the Corporation to drop the proposal to commission a gallery and benches on the sands. It has also asked for switching off all streetlights on the beach during the nesting season of turtles.

“Light fixtures along Marina Loop Road have to remain switched off from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. to facilitate the nesting of turtles,” an official said.

The work is expected to begin soon. “Work on the road and the stormwater drain project will begin shortly. We have been directed to restrict the work to an 18.2-metre strip of land. Cycle tracks will be earmarked on the road. All the work planned for the eastern side of the road will be dropped,” said an official of the Chennai Corporation.

Civic body officials have inspected the area to begin removal of encroachments on the beach sands.

A number of structures housing commercial outlets have been illegally operating on the beach sands in the area near Foreshore Estate.

The Corporation had stopped the beach beautification work a few months ago following objections from local fishermen and activists, who pointed out the project was in violation of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) rules.

An official said a chunk of the work this time would be in areas not covered by high and low tide lines, where laws prohibit any development work, except those expressly approved.

The Corporation has not been permitted to widen the road on the seaward side. A gallery and benches will not be commissioned on the 2.5-km stretch. The work will be completed in six months.

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