Littering the beach does not just make the beaches look dirty, they also harm the marine ecosystem
Marina Beach by Chennai coastal clean-up/ Facebook

If you ask a person from Chennai which one of the two main beaches in the city, Elliot and Marina, is the best, you will see them cringe and say, "Neither."

The city of Chennai is proud of its beaches, giving people bragging rights over other metros in the plains. But when one walks on the beach one gets to see how littered the coastline is. It gets worse closer to the water as one can see garbage being washed ashore and again being  taken in by the water. 

Littering the beach does not just make the beaches look dirty, they also harm the marine ecosystem

Deccan Chronicle reports that the Chennai corporation, fed up with the improper disposal of waste by people who use the beach, slapped a fine of Rs 5,950 on a group that conducted a walkathon on September 6 at the Marina beach.

Several awareness campaigns which have been conducted by conservationist organisations in Chennai have gone in vain. Will fines help then?

Supraja Dharini of the Tree Foundation India, an organisation that conducts awareness programmes for the conservation of environment, said,"When there is a fine attached people start giving the issue some attention and the information spread fast. When we conduct coastal clean-up sessions, we are alarmed at how much of waste goes into the ocean. What should be essentially done is to make people be responsible for the waste that they generate."  

Sivakumar from the Chennai Trekking Club, an organization which conducts the Chennai coastal clean up, was of the opinion that the fining an organiser is not going to have a huge impact as it might not be a huge amount for them. 

He suggests,"They should be held back and asked to clean the space." 

"Fining can work if it is imposed on visitors who litter. This way it will create a sense of fear." he adds