Marina-Kovalam’s 30-kilometre coastline will receive a facelift with an investment of Rs 100 Crore

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has been created for the Chennai Coastline Regeneration and Revitalization Project. The project aimed to rejuvenate a 30 kilometer coastal strip between Kovalam and Marina.

The project was conceived for various reasons. Despite Chennai’s natural and long coastline, access to it is fragmented and not continuous. The question of conservation in terms of climate change also remains unanswered.

According to the National Center for Coastal Research report, a three kilometer stretch of coastline faces low erosion, while a seven kilometer stretch faces low accretion.

The project should link the scattered sections of the beaches into esplanades to utilize physical and social infrastructure and promote art and culture. It will be developed in phases with the collaboration of all stakeholders.

Activities such as the preservation of flora and fauna, the installation of bio-fencing to combat sea level rise and the creation of coastal parks with salt-tolerant species will be undertaken after an assessment.

“Although erosion and accretion levels are low, it is time to start environmental conservation and effective shoreline management,” said Hitesh Kumar Makwana, Principal Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in an order issued Monday (July 25).

It is suggested that significant nodes along the stretches be identified for development as public spaces with distinct themes and designs. In addition, the project will focus on the disposal of marine litter discharged into the sea that can cause accretion.

“The CMDA will prepare a plan to obtain a ‘blue beach’ label for 20 beaches. The aim is to connect the eight beaches from Marina to Kovalam and develop environmentally friendly structures with cycle paths and livelihood activities for the locals,” Makwana said according to The Times of India report.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) plans to extend the coastal revitalization beyond Kovalam.

The president of the SPV will be the principal secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Planning. The general manager will be the secretary-member of the CMDA. Besides these, there are members from 17 other departments including Environment, CDMA, Coastal Zone Management, Society and Tourism.

One of the members is SA Sannasiraj, a professor in the Department of Ocean Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

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