Grandma's Tales

April 7, 2007

The Elliot’s beach saga – 12 Passionate mail

Filed under: Consumer caution,Games People Play,Government,Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 9:00 pm

I had two English classes with students from Adyar and surrounding areas. I spoke to them briefly about the Corporation’s “beautification” plan. These students are preparing to enter the integrated 5-year “Developmental Studies” course IIT is offering. This topic, I thought, fell into its purview. Looks like my speech made an impact. Read on:
Dear Ma’am,
I am a student of the IIT classes at Sriram Academy and a few things you said have made me put my thinking cap on!
I’m not too great at penning down my thoughts but i am going to give it a shot anyway. So here goes…
I am a resident of Thiruvanmiyur and a regular visitor of Elliots Beach.
Yesterday I was at the beach with a couple of friends and it was only then i truly realised the atrocious nature of the plan developed by the corporation for the so called ‘beautification’ of the beach.
First of all the corporation must realise that it is nothing more than a municipal authority and it has absolutely no right to take the law into its hands.
There is a very clear rule that no construction can be made 500 metres within the coastal zone. I’m not too sure but I presume that our beloved beach is a High Tide Zone. The Corporation seems to be blind to the fact that the future is unpredictable and natural calamities like the Tsunami
(which is not new to our state) could wash away not only the construction but also the numerous people that the cement will be attracting.
The Children’s Park,which it is planning to bring in, seems to be uncalled for as the kids are pretty content running around in the sand, playing in the water, building sand castles and collecting shells. If they really wanted to visit a park, why would they be coming to the beach every weekend?
As for the senior citizens, they would voice their needs (if they really had any!!)
They aren’t asking for any construction on the beach, thank you very much!
The corporation seems to be fogetting that there is a church nearby. A church is a religious place where people come to connect with god in peace. If an amphitheatre is built in the middle of the beach, there is going to be blaring music, speeches etc. This will disturb the people who come to pray.Plus,the poor residents of that locality will have hearing problems, in addition to parking problems of course!
There are other ways of helping the disabled rather than constructing a pathway for them to come near the beach. Heaven forbid, in case something happens, will they be able to save themselves? Or are there going to be enough safety measures provided to them?
Last but not least, the young boys who come faithfully to the beach to play football and volleyball every day, aren’t you depriving them of their joy?
People who come to meditate on the beach, would they really want cement offsprings one fine day?
There is a elderly lady on a wheelchair who visits our beach so very often, there is an old lady who sits on the steps of the Bank nearby, and does her knitting watching the beach for as long as i can remember, there are the turtle walkers who sacrifice their night’s sleep to save the riddley turtles, there are volunteers who clean the beach. Simply stated, there are people who come to the sand and watch the clear blue sea.
Does the corporation know of their existence? Have they asked the permission of these people??
The beach belongs to us and it is here to stay! We will not let it become history!!
P.S. is there any way i can voice my views on this issue in the ’sound off’ column in metroplus?
Atta girl, Nithya, a big round of applause to you! That’s a very well written denouncement of the plan. Your anger and your passion for your beloved beach are well expressed. More importantly, you are thinking right. Congratulations!
With young people like you opposing the plan and appealing to the corporation to make arrangements for keeping the beach clean, we should be able to put an end to this misadventure. My point in the class was, local communities should get together to protect the few environmental assets they have from so called “development”. My greatest worry is that all this totally unwarranted construction was going to be carried out in the name of children, senior citizens and disabled people. They can’t get more manipulative than that!
If you are serious about doing something, do join the “beach celebration” effort on 14 April, as a volunteer. Help to spread the idea that a beach is made of sand and sea, not brick and cement.
As for “Sound Off”, send your mail to


  1. Thank you ma’am for your feedback.

    How do i enroll as a volunteer for the celebration?
    And is there a word limit to be maintained while writing to the sound off column?

    Comment by Nithya — April 9, 2007 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  2. Hi Nithya, why don’t you count the number of words in a column? :-)For details on the celebration, today’s post should help.

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — April 9, 2007 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  3. maam… u hav really given us a session that was a real eye opener to all of us… myself and and few of my other friends from my school have decided to com forward to spread message ” our beach must be that of sand and water anmd not of concrete”….
    count us in for sure maam….
    ur student from the iit hsee coachin class

    Comment by pravina — April 13, 2007 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  4. Thanks, pravina. We certainly need student involvement in this. Read the post today and see what you can do.

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — April 21, 2007 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

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