Residents living between Light House and Foreshore Estate off the Marina beach on Friday launched a protest against the Chennai Corporation’s plan to evict several families for its Marina Loop Road project.
Residents urged the State government to shelve the project as it would result in loss of their livelihood. Women from neighbouring localities joined the protesters. A large group of women assembled on the beach and later moved to the service road connecting Light House and Foreshore Estate.
The protest was provoked by the Corporation issuing eviction notices to the residents. Staff pasted notices on the doors of houses and shops on Friday morning, asking all of them to vacate by March 28.
Reacting to the government’s plan to relocate them to Kannagi Nagar, Okkiyam Thoraipakkam, Benett Mary, who has been living in Nochi Nagar for decades, asked, “How can we make a living if we are shifted far away from here.”
Activist K. Saravanan said the Marina Loop Road project would not improve the conditions of fishermen.
“The existing road was originally laid by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board for better access to fishermen’s homes,” Mr.Saravanan said. Officials said the Coastal Zone Management Authority had given its nod for the Rs. 47.5-crore project, which would improve civic amenities.
“The new road will also be designed to prevent accidents. We are not evicting all residents. Only encroachers on land belonging to Corporation are being evicted,” an official said.