The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has told Madras High Court that as a part of the vendor regularisation process at Marina beach, only 900 of them will be permitted to conduct business there.
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.
On Monday, the Greater Chennai Corporation filed a response in the court stating that it plans to limit the number of vendors on the Marina beach to 900 and that it will be procuring smart vending carts to those identified vendors at a cost of Rs 27 crore.
The GCC also noted that the regularisation process in 2017 had identified 1,544 vendors, of which identity cards were issued to 1,486 vendors. In a similar process conducted in 2019, 1,962 shops were identified of which only 808 vendors had identity cards with them.
Additional Advocate General SR Rajagopal who was appearing on behalf of the GCC also stated that the shops on the beach have been arranged in vertical lines perpendicular to the road, in order to ensure clear view of the sea from the road. He also submitted that 175 sanitary workers have been deployed on the beach for cleaning purposes and that they will be working on a shift basis. He also added that toilets are provided in six locations along the beach and two more such complexes are coming up in other locations on the beach.
In regard to the Loop Road behind the Light House, the GCC stated that it is in consultation with the Coastal Regulatory Zone for construction of footpath on the road close to the sea and that the GCC is persuading the fishermen to shift out to another nearby spot.
The judges recorded the statements and have posted the case for its next hearing on January 8.