The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is working on improving the beaches of Chennai, more specifically the Marina Beach. According to the the affidavit filed on behalf of GCC, the beutification will also include redesign of the vendor spaces. 900 vendors will be permitted to run their shops in Marina Beach.
The direction to improve and make Marina Beach a world class beach was issued by the Honorable Madras High Court. The court further directed the Greater Chennai Corporation to also use the help of the Chennai Police if necessary to evacuate the illegal vendors if necessary.
Components of Marina Beach Beutification
As per officials familiar with the project, some of the various components of the beach improvement are:
- Good Walkway for the Walkers
- Play Area for Children
- Jogging Track
- Resting Area for Citizens
- Redesigned Shops
- Public Convenience or Toilets
- Viewing Gallery
- Street Furniture with Games like in the Pedestrain Plaza
- Access for the Disabled
The beach already has a first aid center, cafetaria, toilets and skating rink for kids.
Social Impact of the Redevelopment
Marina Beach has always been one of the most visited places in the city. If the place is re-developed as a public space, then the area will surely attract lot of visitors. Considering the fact that the beach currently does not have any entry fee, makes it more accessible to more citizens.
Curiously, the current redevelopment got attached as a subject after the fisherman wanted more allowances from the Government during the fishing ban season. They further argued that they have historic rights on beach area and their activities should not be curtailed.
According to reports, a bench of the court consisting of Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R Suresh Kumar was hearing a petition filed by Fishermen Care, an association concerned with the rights of fishermen, seeking a court direction to increase the allowance provided to the fishermen during the fishing ban period.
The scope of the PIL, however, expanded to cover the regularisation of vendors in Marina and the steps taken for the beautification of the beach. During a previous hearing, the court had stated that the city police and the Corporation must work together to make Marina a world class beach within six months.
The redesign of vendors by procuring smart vending machines will be done at the cost of Rs 27 Crores.
Greater Chennai Corporation and Chennai Smart City Limited already have the experience of delivering world class projects like the Pedestrian Plaza Project in T-Nagar. However, the applicability of Coastal Zone Regulation impacts the design possibiulities. Since, the project area is within 50m of the coast, CRZ Regulation– 1 lays strict restrictions on the types of structures / constructions allowed.
It must be noted that Architect Raghuram helped redesign the Promenade in 2009. The entire redesign and development was done at the cost of Rs 130 Crores. The entire stretch from Light House to Forst St. George was redesigned as part of the project.