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Despite Centre easing norms, no public access to Chennai beaches till October 31

Though the Centre's unlock 5.0 includes parks and beaches, additional advocate general S R Rajagopal said that the decision to open them was left to the wisdom of the state government concerned

Published: 05th October 2020 07:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2020 07:18 PM   |  A+A-

Flock of pigeons seen over Chennai's empty Marina Beach amidst Coronavirus pandemic which has resticted people from gathering out in large numbers. (Photo | Martin Louis, EPS)

A flock of pigeons seen over Chennai's empty Marina Beach amidst Coronavirus pandemic which has restricted people from gathering out in large numbers. (Photo | Martin Louis, EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation on Monday informed the Madras High Court that it was not possible to throw open city beaches to the public as the state government has extended the Covid-19 lockdown till October 31.

Though the Centre's unlock 5.0 includes parks and beaches, additional advocate general S R Rajagopal said that the decision to open them was left to the wisdom of the state government concerned. Though some parks have been opened, beaches and theatres are not yet opened to the public in Tamil Nadu. The divisional bench of Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice M S Ramesh recorded the submission.

With regard to regularisation of vending on the Marina, Rajagopal said, “The corporation could not complete the tender process for procuring smart vending carts meant to be distributed to 900 licenced vendors as no one participated in the tender that was floated twice.”

The lack of adequate labourers was the reason for non-participation in the tender. “The tender will be floated once again for the third time and opened on November 19,” he said.

To this, the bench said, “Industries are getting back on their feet. We see from newspaper reports that guest workers are coming back. Now the authorities have to expedite the process which is already delayed.”

As for the construction of a foot overbridge on the Loop Road, Rajagopal submitted that the feasibility assessment of the project will be done once the traffic survey is completed in 45 days.

“Work for construction of the Rs 2 crore exclusive fish market on the OSR land available near the Loop Road could not be completed as the design of the market complex is yet to be approved by the state cabinet,” the AAG said.

Every employee of the corporation is actively involved in Covid-19 work. Therefore, we might need four weeks to report back on the progress of the projects, he added.

Recording the submission, the bench asked the AAG about the status of constructing a footpath along the beach side of the Loop Road for walkers.

The AAG said that the project needs CRZ approval and that he could not get the status of this. Making it clear that the corporation must show substantive development in commencing the projects in the next status report, the court adjourned the hearing to November 11.



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