The Greater Chennai Corporation has proposed to purchase 900 Smart Carts (standardised carts) for the Marina beach through a tender process. And while 60% of these carts will be given to existing vendors, the remaining will be offered to new vendors to allow for a 'fair balance'. That would mean retaining 540 existing stalls and introducing 360 new ones.
The civic body has two types of applications on its website for vendors. This has terms and conditions, vending fees, rent to be paid every month, timings, maintenance charges and penalty amounts detailed. Applicants have to fill in the form with supporting documents between April 3 and April 8. The civic body will then study the applications between April 10 and April 15. The final list will be decided on April 18 and applicants will be selected by a draw of lots. Selected vendors will get a certificate from the Corporation, that allows them to set up on the beach.
In January 2019, the Greater Chennai Corporation had informed the Madras High Court that it will frame separate and specific bylaws for regulating hawkers in beaches. The submission was made before a Division Bench of Justices Vineet Kothari and Anita Sumanth. The Corporation conducted a survey of the beach and shortlisted vendors and decided to bring out standardised vending stalls.
The funding for the project, according to sources in the Corporation, will be coming from the National Urban Livelihood Mission and Tamil Nadu Urban Livelihood Mission.
"The challenge will be to maintain the number of stalls and the area they occupy," a source had told TNM earlier. "We will have a joint enforcement committee consisting of the police and Corporation officials to monitor Marina," he added.
The aim of the project is to maintain hygiene standards in these stalls (especially ones serving food), enable space accessibility and improve the appearance of the beach.