Chennai: Irked over littering and improper disposal of waste by those conducting promotional events along the Chennai coast, the city Corporation has now decided to levy fine on the organisers. The novel initiative came into force on Sunday with Corporation engineers slapping a fine of Rs 5,950 on a group that conducted a walkathon.
According to Corporation sources, both the civic body and private waste management firms are currently clearing trash from the 3-kilometre stretch of Marina. But, during weekends, trash like tea cups, plastic papers, food wastage are found in abundance as volunteers who are part of marathons, walkathons or rallies on the beach, litter the place freely immediately after cleaning is done.
“To prevent this, the new fining concept is brought in”, said a Corporation engineer. The fine amount would vary as per the size of the crowd and the estimated garbage they would generate.
An initial warning will be given to these organisers when they seek permission for the event. If they fail to keep the beach clean, hefty fines will be slapped. The corporation pays its conservancy inspectors and private contractors crores of rupees to keep the beach clean round the year.
When asked will the corporation also levy fine for political parties that conduct rallies and meetings, the official said that any big group or a political party would also be fined. Periodic drives are also being conducted to prevent new encroachments on the famous sands of the Marina.
On the security front, Mylapore district police had issued guidelines to the local police officers to make Marina free from thefts, prevent sale of ganja and reduce the number of drowning by coordinating with the coastal security group. The top brass had also issued standing instructions to book both parties in case of complaints and counter complaints.A local police inspector said that of late there have been FIRs booked against even corporation employees who are hand in glove with illegal things happening in Marina.
A case in which a government staff was illegally setting up shops in the sand area has been booked. Similarly, a number of ganja peddlers have been booked in the past two months. Beat patrol has also been enhanced to prevent bike theft and drownings.
Earlier, the number of drowning cases was recorded annually and now the coastal security group that engages swimmers is recording the drowning cases on a monthly basis. Last year the number of bodies that washed ashore in (D 5 limit – Marina) was around 30 from January to August and this year during the same period the number of drowning had come down to 15.
The preliminary study has revealed that between 2 pm and 4 pm are the peak drowning hours in Marina as school students visit the beach to enjoy a swim. And to reduce the incidence of drowning, particularly among youngsters, surveillance has been steeped up post noon. In the past three months, six people have been rescued. Four all terrain vehicles, with four swimmers with surfing pads on a shift bais are now on the job.
Location: Tamil Nadu