news Friday, December 12, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 26, 2014 | 07.45 pm IST Chennai’s own Corporation which plays the role of a ‘regulator’ has been accused of being responsible for encroachments across over 14 acres of beach space in the city and blamed for 20 coastal regulation violations.  The Coastal Resource Centre which released a report on Wednesday has documented over 20 Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations made by the civic body spanning an area of 14.01 acres from Marina beach upto Neelangarai.  Listed amongst the 21 violations made by the Corporation are recent constructions carried out along the beach side including construction of benches and streetlight lamp posts placed on the sands of the beach.  Some of the violations mentioned were as recent as November 2014 when the Corporation installed plastic benches as a ‘viewing gallery’ alongside the Neelankarai beach. After it was mentioned that the installations went against set CRZ guidelines, the benches set on concrete bases were broken up leading to further debris left along the beach.  According to Times of India, an estimated Rs. Two lakh could have gone into the ‘beautification’ project.                                                                                                                     The plastic chairs set up facing the sea Another recent violation cited by the report was the installation of street lights at the Palavakkam beach which is not permitted under the CRZ rules. Constructions like these can harm the survival rates of the Olive Ridlye sea turtles. Yet another violation cited was debris dumped alongside the Srinivasapuram-Santhome beach for beautification purposes. The debris dumped in the intertidal zone is itself illegal under the CRZ notification. In July, the Corporation announced plans to fund a Rs. 55 crore beach beautification project. Amongst other promises, the project was set to include a turtle information centre at Neelankarai, a sewage treatment plant and also shifting of streetlight fittings from the beach side, said The Hindu. K. Saravanan of the Coastal Resource Centre said that the Corporation was responsible for the violations. "The Corporation should clean up after everyone else. Even if the place is dirty , it is their duty to clean up. But they themselves are responsible," he said about the dumping of construction debris being used to construct roads and other buildings alongside the beach.  According to the CRC, atleast 15 of the total violations involved dumping of construction debris or usage of debris to lay roads on the beach, a violation by itself.  Below are some pictures depicting Corporation trucks relaying roads near the beach. 
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