Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Leave nature alone

N.S.Venkataraman, trustee, Nandini Voice For The Deprived, makes an impassioned plea to the concerned authorities not the ‘beautify’ Elliots beach when there are so many other pressing things to be done. Many of us agree with his views, don’t we? Here is what he says:

As a long time resident of Besant Nagar, Chennai, it is really heart-breaking for me to see the Chennai Corporation proceeding with the so called beautification of the Elliots beach. It is actually a de-beautification scheme, being implemented with absolutely no consideration for the ecological issues involved or understanding of the concept of beauty itself.

As a concerned citizen, I feel depressed and helpless, not knowing how can I discharge my duty to protect the glory of Elliots beach for the benefit of future generation, if not the present one. How can the authorities do this, ignoring the views of the citizens many of whom obviously know better than those implementing this painful scheme , said to be costing Rs. 25 crores?

When the city is so dirty with sewage water overflowing in several places and those particularly in the lower income group are forced to live in extremely unhealthy conditions, why are the authorities in such great hurry to invest such large amount of money in such a scheme , that would bring no benefit to anyone, except perhaps the contractors ? With a Governor's bungalow coming up at one end and concrete jungle coming up at another end in the name of beautification, Eliots beach is now facing the threat of becoming one more ugly part of Chennai.

What are the options left for the concerned citizens when the authorities would implement their decisions as if the views of the people do not matter to them at all? It is not as if the politicians sitting in the government and in Chennai Corporation alone are responsible for such move that would kill the glory of Elliots beach. What about the so many IAS officers working in the government and corporation, who are said to be better trained in administration and should know better? There is no evidence that they have advised the Chief Minister or the Mayor to desist from this counter productive scheme in Elliots beach. Do they also not care?

Should the concerned citizens who are aware of the adverse consequences of implementing such schemes resign themselves to the fate and keep silent? If any one would feel that I have used strong words, they should go to the Elliots beach and see the ongoing work there for themselves and in all probablity they would join the band of protestors.

How can anyone beautify nature? All that is required is that Elliots beach should get less attention from Mayor and Commissioner of Chennai Corporation for putting up buildings on the sands and greater attention from those who desire cleanliness on the sands and surroundings.

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