Chennai: The Madras high court has suggested that the state government may explore the possibility of restoring the existing connecting road from Loop Road to Besant Nagar, which was in a damaged condition, so as to ease the traffic congestion along Greenways road, Thiru Vi.Ka Bridge and Adyar, where nearly 36,000 vehicles were plying every day.
A division bench comprising Justices Vineet Kothari and R.Suresh Kumar made the suggestion while passing further interim orders on a PIL filed by Fishermen Care. The matter relates to cleaning Marina Beach and shifting of fishermen.
“It seems that the existing connecting road from Loop Road to Besant Nagar, which is said to have been destroyed in the floods of 1970’s or so, still exists in a damaged condition and therefore, the Greater Chennai Corporation and State Authorities may explore the possibilities of again constructing a proper wide road connecting the said Loop Road to Besant Nagar area, which will not only create alternative road to reduce the burden of traffic on the Beach Road via D.G.S.Dinakaran Road to Adyar area including Thiru.Vi.Ka Bridgee upto Airport, but also will provide alternate suitable motorable road for traffic also”, the bench added.
The bench also suggested creating two overhead foot bridges with sufficient head height so as not to cause any obstruction in the free flow of traffic from the Sea-side of the Loop Road to the said fish market area to be located in the Two Acres of land for facilitating the passage of fishermen from the sea-side to the market area, without the need for them to cross the Loop Road itself, the bench added.
The bench said Additional advocate general S.R.Rajagopal has undertaken to get the above two proposals examined and produce the Feasibility Report before this court on the next date of hearing.
The bench said from a perusal of the enumeration report, it was seen that out of 356 vendors, some of the persons named in the list have not produced their relevant documents and therefore, their applications were not complete. The said process also shall be completed within three weeks from now and the revised complete list of the fish vendors of that area may be produced on the next date of hearing. Only the local residents duly identified by the Fisheries Department in the complete list to be furnished on the next date of hearing will be entitled for allotment in the new market to be created in the one acre of land, the bench added.
The bench said AAG submitted that a temporary fish market was proposed on the one acre of land out of the two acres of land allotted for the said purpose and tenders may be permitted to be issued on March 3, 2020 and the expected date of completion on the said site was stated to be June 30, 2020. Besides this, the AAG submitted on the remaining one acre of land, which has been flattened and cleaned, the Chennai Corporation and Police Department were taking steps for diverting the parking by the customers, who come to the Loop Road for purchase of fish and adequate measures were being taken to depute traffic police personnel to direct the customers and persons who come to the said fish market to park their vehicles in the said parking place only. He also submitted that some area out of the said space of one acre will also be provided to the fishermen as a temporary selling space in that area itself so that they can be encouraged to readily sell the fish to the customers parking their vehicles there, for the time being, till the aforesaid temporary structure, for which tenders were now to be issued, was completed by June 30, 2020. “The aforesaid proposal from the side of the Chennai Corporation and Police Department are taken on record and they are approved. The respective departments may go ahead with this plan and encourage the fishermen to carry on their fish selling business on the said allotted space now onwards”, the bench added.
The bench said the AAG also indicated that besides local fishermen, who were residing in the Loop Road area, other fishermen/traders also bring their fish which they catch in other areas also on the said Loop road and sell their fish here, whereas the said area was never intended to be allowed to be used as a fish market to others who were not the local residents in that area and who catch their fish in other area. “The State Administration can go ahead and restrict the other fishermen, who are not residing in the said Loop road area itself and who catch their fish elsewhere and bring the same for sale here. With the aforesaid directions, it is expected that both police and corporation personnel will ensure free flow of traffic on the Loop road area on all days on 24x7 basis especially throughout the congestion hours of morning and evening”, the bench added and posted to March 18, further hearing of the case.