Dispute over Marina Loop Road continues

Photo - R.Ravindran, The Hindu
Photo – R.Ravindran, The Hindu

The National Green Tribunal (NGT)–Southern Bench has appointed an advocate-commissioner to inspect Marina Loop Road.

NGT has asked the official to check if any work is being carried out by the Chennai Corporation on the sea-ward side.

The First Bench comprising judicial member M. Chockalingam and expert member P.N. Rao has also asked the advocate-commissioner to check if there are any other temporary shelters on the beach and submit a report on March 30.

The Tribunal was hearing a case filed by S. Venkatesh, a resident of T. Nagar, who alleged the work on Marina Loop Road was in violation of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) rules.

During the last hearing at NGT on Tuesday, K.S. Kandasamy, deputy commissioner of works, Corporation of Chennai, had filed a counter stating Marina Loop Road had to be upgraded with cement-concrete topping as it was in a damaged condition.

While he claimed the work is being carried out as per conditions issued by the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA), the counsel for the petitioner denied this.

Subsequently, NGT directed TNSCZMA to inspect the work carried out by the Chennai Corporation and check if it is in accordance with guidelines.

When the case came up for hearing on Thursday, TNSCZMA submitted a report stating the work adhered to guidelines.

The report states that as per the Field Measurement Book sketch, the maximum width of Marina Loop Road, including the bitumen stretch and footpath, is 18.30 metres.

The report further states the civic body has proposed to relay the road with facilities such as cycle track and stormwater drain within 18.20 metres.

“During the inspection on March 25, it was noticed that the work is under progress and the width of the road has not exceeded 18.20 metres. The Corporation is constructing the footpath and stormwater drain on the landward side of the road,” the report states.

While the counsel for the petitioner claimed the extension of the road is towards the sea side, Corporation officials denied this. The Bench has therefore directed the advocate-commissioner to inspect the site and file a report.

On March 20, the Bench had ordered interim stay on the road work.

The Hindu – 27th March 2015

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