Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Pakash informed Madras High Court that the Marina beach may be opened for public sometime during the first week of November. However, the final and official confirmation on this will have to be made by the state government, he added.
The Chennai beach was declared closed when nationwide lockdown was announced in March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In August, the Madras High Court had asked GCC to look at ways of reopening the beach for the public.
Justices Vineeth Kothari and MS Ramesh were hearing the petition filed regarding the regulation of fish markets and the cleaning up of the beach. Notably, during the last hearing, the GCC Commissioner had informed the court that the beach will not open until the end of October, since lockdown was not completely lifted in the state.
Reportedly, the judges also observed that the beach in Chennai had failed to receive the Blue Tag awarded by an international organisation to the cleanest beaches around the world. The Environment Ministry recently announced that eight beaches in India have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification by Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark. The bench had also passed remarks to the Corporation Commissioner and the Police Commissioner on keeping the beaches in the city clean.
Justice Vineet Kothari & MS Ramesh of Madras HC asks @copmahesh1994 & corporation Commissioner G. Prakash to take their morning & evening walks on Marina beach, loop road & Besant Nagar beach to keep them clean & free of encroachments @THChennaiâ€” Mohamed Imranullah S (@imranhindu) October 13, 2020
A Blue Flag beach is an eco-tourism model endeavouring to provide the tourists or beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities, safe and healthy environment and sustainable development of the area.
On encroachments, GCC Commissioner said that 65 loop-road encroachments have been cleared so far and that they have discussed with Fishermen Union Presidents to help keep encroachers off the area.
The government also informed that it would file notices relating to the establishment of a fish market, and an overhead bridge during the next hearing scheduled for November 11.