Tamil Nadu state tourism department has charted out plans to improve the coastline of Chennai, putting the funds allocated by the Union ministry of tourism under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme to good use. Rs.100 Crore has been allocated to the state and close to half of it will be spent on beautifying its beaches, Marina and Elliot’s predominantly.
The Chennai corporation has vowed to keep the city’s beaches cleaner and free of encroachments and hawkers. However, the corporation is also focused on the safety measures along Chennai’s coastline. With close to 40 people dying every year in Marina and adjacent beaches, corporation authorities have charted out various safety programmes as part of the Coastal Circuit development initiatives. Watch towers are to be set up along Marina beach and there will be cops monitoring the beach 24*7 from these towers. As part of the safety programmes, the coast guard will keep rescue boats for visitors, TOI reported sources in the state government as saying. Toilets for transgenders, upkeep of the Schmidt memorial and setting up a gym at Elliot’s are also in the cards.
Plans are also underway to make Marina accessible to people on wheelchair. As part of making the beach inclusive to people with disabilities, a pathway made of wood has been proposed to be laid out from the Loop Road till the shoreline. “The stretch from the MGR Memorial to Light House will have wider footpaths, table-top crossings and disabled-friendly toilets and parking facilities”, Times of India reported.