Besant Nagar Beach to have a make over

According to today’s ET Madras Plus, the beach front at Besant Nagar is going to get a make over costing over two crores to be completed by the end of this year by the Chennai Corporation. The genesis of this project apparently was a proposal to develop the beachfront put together by ten students of the Measi Academy of Architecture. Kudos to these guys, because what is being proposed will transform the beach front into a well planned and equipped leisure zone for the city’s residents.

To begin with, the road along the beach itself will be widened and developed with greenery, palm trees and innovative lighting poles (Looks like the lamp poles on the IT corridor are inspiring more such aesthetic installations!). In addition to the current walking path, a jogging path will also be developed. Better still, there’s going to be a twenty foot wide green belt along the walking path, complete with shelters and gazebos which will no doubt be a favourite with starry eyed couples cooing into each other’s ears.

There will be a center for beach sports, an amphitheatre, as well as an exclusive children’s play area. The existing skating rink is also going to be renovated. An unique feature to draw people out to the water’s edge is a landscaped, aesthetically developed walkway that will stretch from the road to the beachfront across the middle of the beach. The walk way, designed with colonnades that give it a classical look, will be beautifully paved and well lit. It will not only facilitate easy access to the beach for the old and infirm, it has been especially designed to enable the physically challenged to get to the sea shore.

The whole plan, presented in visual form on page three of the Madras Plus, with illustrations of the various facilities including the paved walk way with colonnades, looks quite exciting. Having a beach front like that will make good use of our natural resources by enhancing their value and access for the city’s residents. Kudos to the Corporation for spotting the potential in the plan put together by the students, and backing it with the investment required. Done well, this could give other coastal cities some lessons in enhancing their natural assets to better serve their citizens!

Now let’s hope the Corporation turns its eyes on to those other great natural assets the city has: the Adyar, Cooum and Buckingham Canal. Who knows? Five years from now, Chennai could be completely transformed if they follow the relocation of the settlements on their banks with cleaning up of the rivers, followed by such landscaping and facilities on their banks!

3 Comments so far

  1. karthek (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 12:25 am

    I checked Madras Plus site for the Plan. Looks like they just have front page news on their site. Can some one post pics of the Plan. Will be interesting to see if they have any well designed public Restrooms in the plan. One thing most of these public place lack in madras/chennai.

    I still remember last time I visited madras (2005). Even most crowed shopping areas like T.Nagar did not have well designed/maintained Restrooms.

  2. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on January 13th, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    Well good, but…

    Wouldn’t it be better to spend this money on effective anti-mosquito measures, housing and facilities for the poor, etc etc. ?

    Cleaning up the Buckingham Canal wouldn’t produce too many fancy newspaper pics, but it would surely make a huge difference to the recently exploded yet again mossie population — and thus to the human population, rich and poor, of the area.

  3. D (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

    Not to sound too negative but I just think that no matter how much the City spends on making these changes, maintaining them against Singara Chennai’s hostile elements – the rowdy teenagers breaking lampshades, driving into lampposts just for the heck of it or those people who steal the metal off monkeybars to make a quick buck – is going to be difficult. We’ve seen this much too often and regardless of the amount of money the City spends on making it better, it takes a lot of care on the people’s part to make it last.

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