CHENNAI: The Madras High Court recently directed the Chennai Corporation to consider the feasibility of reconstructing a road connecting Marina Loop Road, from Pattinampakkam to Besant Nagar. However, environmentalists and members of Urur Olcott Kuppam fishing village administration, who gathered at Besant Nagar on Thursday, argue that this will have a major effect on fisherfolk and marine life.
Urging the government to stall the proposal, environmental activist, Nityanand Jayaraman said, “Fishing communities are among the first residents of Chennai. The villages of Urur Olcott Kuppam, Nochikuppam, Mullikuppam and Dummingkuppam have existed for centuries. The proposal has revived a controversial project for an elevated expressway connecting Lighthouse to Kottivakkam. According to a 10-year-old report, this project was expected to negatively impact one lakh residents. How can something like that be implemented now?”
R Sundaramoorthy, a member of Urur Olcott village administration said, “From January to March, when seas are still, Chennai’s fisherfolk haul the big net to catch mackerel, prawns and perch. During and after construction of the highway, use of beach spaces for net-mending, fish drying, shore-seining, etc, will be affected. The migratory birds, insects and olive ridley population too, will face the brunt.” The environmentalists also pointed out that since this coast is prone to cyclones and the Adyar estuary has shifting sands and water lines, building a structure here is not suggestible.