Chennai Corporation is all set to offer 48 sq. ft to each of the hawkers and vendors on the city’s beaches, including the Marina, with a height restriction of 6 ft. The design of the stalls will be finalised shortly.
Each of the families dependent on vending on the beach for a livelihood will be permitted to run one shop by the Corporation. All shops on beaches will have wheels to facilitate easy shifting to alternative locations.
According to Chennai Corporation sources, enumeration of shops on the Marina will begin shortly. The civic body is expected to explore ways to restrict the number to 500, as per the direction of the High Court. “This is expected to be challenging,” said an official.
According to preliminary estimates, members of the same family are reportedly running several shops on the beach by employing outsiders.
Corporation data points to an increase in the number of shops on the Marina from 1,212 in 2012 to over 2,000 in 2019. As many as 1,212 shops were identified by the civic body in 2012 after the Chennai Corporation Council announced regulation of vending on beaches. The scheme to regulate vendors on the beach with aesthetically designed pushcarts in 2013 led to an increase in the number of shops, with the assistance of political party representatives. After regulation of vending on the beach with support from the Vending Committee, shopkeepers would have to place bins near their shops to keep the beach clean.
Another proposal made for keeping the beach clean is the removal of catamarans from the no-vending zone on Marina beach. However, fishermen’s associations have planned to oppose the move. The Corporation has already announced that it will declare more than 90% of the Marina beach as a no-vending zone.