Fishermen of Nochikuppam on Monday demanded that the Chennai Corporation widen the Santhome High Road, instead of trying to take over the Marina Loop Road and beautifying it. At an explanatory meeting held in the village, the fishermen said they were tired of explaining that the loop road was an internal road of theirs.
“The present loop road was formed as a temporary kutcha road by the Slum Clearance Board for better connectivity. It was never intended to be a public thoroughfare. They started using the road to prevent traffic jams on the Santhome High Road, with the permission of Nochikuppam. But over the years, the Corporation and the police have just taken over the road,” recalled activist K. Saravanan. “Over the last few decades, fishermen have lost control over their traditional lands. Beach beautification does not mean driving away catamarans and nets,” he added.
“Some 15 years ago, the Corporation passed a resolution to widen the Santhome High Road. After that, only announcements have been made. If that road is widened, the loop road can be left as it is,” said K. Bharathi, another fisherman.