The Madras High Court on Thursday suggested that the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) form a dedicated team led by an IAS officer for the upkeep of the famous Marina beach in Chennai. Hearing a plea on the issue, a division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice TV Thamilselvi said that the world-famous beach was not properly maintained and was full of garbage and litter. The court also directed the Greater Chennai Corporation and the Tamil Nadu government to file a detailed report on the amount of garbage generated on the beach every day and the steps taken by them to remove this waste.
It also asked the Greater Chennai Corporation to provide the court with the exact details of the revenue from the beach. It also asked for a detailed report on the number of toilets at the beach as well as the mobile toilets available for tourists who frequent it. The court also asked as to how the Marina beach is being advertised as a tourist destination without properly maintaining it. It also sought full details on the schemes and measures being taken and further measures to be taken by the corporation for the maintenance of the beach or to beautify it.
The court also asked the civic body as to why an exclusive fish market was not constructed near the loop road to prevent fish vendors and the general public from encroaching the loop road of the beach. The Greater Chennai Corporation was asked to provide the detailed report to the court by July 22.
The beach was shut to the general public when the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out last year. While the state government allowed activities at Marina beach to resume gradually in December last year, things were shut down again due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and the second wave. However, recently, Chief Minister MK Stalin allowed for the beach to reopen, along with other relaxations that were announced. The Chennai city police are presently using drones to monitor physical distancing at the beach.