Grandma\’s Tales

March 18, 2007

The Elliot’s beach saga- 12 Meeting on Sunday morning

Filed under: Consumer caution,Games People Play,Government,Society — Rajesh @ 7:02 pm

We (Mr. S., Vincent D’Souza, Mr. Alphonse, members of Tree Vigil now called The Civil Action Group and a lot of others whose names I do not know) gathered on the beach at 7 am on this bright and sunny day.
At 7:10 am Mr. Lakhoni (Commissioner, Chennai Corporation) called. He said he had to meet the CM on urgent business and couldn’t make it to the meeting to discuss “beautification”. Obviously Chennai has more pressing problems that have to be discussed. Mr. S protested. May be because no apology for forthcoming.
Mr. Lakhoni had news. “But you know the plan for the spine in the middle of the beach, it has been dropped. No more spine!” Whose, he did not say.
“What!” I remarked. “Just like that!” This looked like a sop to me. It’s like mom telling the kid, “No, we can’t go to the beach now. But here, have this sweet.” But I still had to know the reason why the spine, and not some other structure, was dropped from the plan. Mr. S smiled. “Even their engineers are against it. They have said it is structurally unviable. But that doesn’t mean our protest is over.” He talked to the Commissioner again. The meeting will be held next Sunday at 5 pm.
I thought the students who drew the plan had no idea about environment and ecology. Now I know they have no idea about architecture. They proposed a path which they did not know could not be built! If the Corporation is dropping it only as a sop, not because it is structurally flawed, will these students stand up and defend their proposal? Guess.
Now, what about the amphitheatre, children’s play area and the 6-metre encroachment of the beach for greenery? We’ll see.
Two more things happened today.
The CAG brought out an exhaustive questionnaire and got a lot of walkers to fill it up. Let’s see how a larger public responds to it.
Our turtle guy brought a laptop full of pictures of the beach from various angles. Taken by a pro photographer, these pictures showed the structures built on the beach over the years (in the name of beautification, of course) and how they have either rusted or have been left decrepit. I’ll try and get them from this very personable gentleman.
Did you take a good look at the plan? The civil work has been moved to near the promenade. No doubt to beat the Coastal Zone Regulation. My question is: When they first approved it, corporation officials didn’t know about these regulations? Were they checking if we would point it out?
Why are they so desperate to “build”? While we are about it, can the Commissioner do something about the mess in front of Vantage Plaza (signal near Adyar Depot), please? The road side of the row of meat stalls facing Vantage Plaza  – and who allowed a row of meat stalls to be built at a place where one main road takes a turn into another? – is a stink hole with garbage. How are people supposed to walk?

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