CHENNAI: The wooden ramp for the differently abled at the Marina Beach, which is being rebuilt after being damaged by heavy wind brought by Cyclone Mandous in December 2022, will fall short of the high tide line by 20 metres. Greater Chennai Corporation is carrying out work to create the deck from which differently abled people can enjoy the sea view, with a senior official saying it will not be possible to put a concrete ramp as it is a turtle nesting site.
“It is a temporary structure, and it can get damaged and can also be repaired quickly. We don’t want the differently abled persons and senior citizens to miss out on the sea view, hence we have slightly reduced the length. We have restored most of it and little work is remaining,” he said. The civic body had set up the 263-meter ramp last year for 1.15 crore using Brazilian wood. The ramp begins at the beach near Vivekananda House and runs up to 10 meters from the sea.
However, it was damaged by the heavy winds brought by Cyclone Mandous before it made landfall. The pillars supporting the ramp were damaged, and several wooden planks were uprooted. The corporation had said the structure was planned in such a way that it can be repaired easily after a natural calamity.
Subsequently, it was decided to reduce the length of the ramp by 20 metres. Due to this, the differently abled cannot go closer to the waves.
“I went to the beach today and noticed that they had reduced size. It is a little sad. The government can use technology to enable the differently abled people instead they tend to cut our privilege. Many elderly people also use the ramp. The focus should be enhanced when such infrastructure for differently abled or elderly is set up,” said T M N Deepak of December 3 Movement.