The Madras High Court on Tuesday wanted to know by when the Greater Chennai Corporation would allow the public to access the Marina beach here and then finalise the tenders for procuring and distributing new pushcarts to the vendors after regulating their presence through issuance of identity cards.

Justices Vineet Kothari and Krishnan Ramasamy granted time till October 5 for Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal to get instructions from Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash also on the time limit within which the fishermen on the loop road along the Marina would be shifted to a market complex.

When the senior judge in the Bench wanted to know whether public were now being allowed to access the beach, which was kept out of bounds since the nationwide lockdown announced in March to fight COVID-19, the AAG said the officials were deliberating on the issue but a final decision was yet to be taken.

Justice Kothari said he personally did not see any reason why the beach should be kept out of bounds when the government had relaxed the lockdown to a great extent and allowed people to access almost all commercial spaces. He, however, made it clear that it was up to the Corporation to take a final call. “It is your policy decision and the court will not interfere,” he said.

In so far as efforts taken by the court to ensure that the beach was kept neat and clean, the Bench wanted to know the status of directions passed by it since last year for regulating vendors and the fishermen on the loop road.

Recalling that the Corporation had earlier told the court that it would call for tenders to procure stainless steel pushcarts and limit the number of vendors, the judges wanted to know whether the tenders had been finalised and by when the civic body would commence procurement and distribution.

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