CHENNAI: Foreshore Estate off Marina may turn into a swank esplanade with the state government planning to build 560 high-end apartments on the sea-front.
The apartments costing 1.21 crore to 1.97 crore will come up between Santhome High Road and Foreshore Estate Main Road. While 130 flats were booked until Thursday, the state is expecting a huge rush for the next one month till February 5, the last day for registration. This is to facilitate another 500 people who showed interest and obtained applications recently. The Coast Guard, which has been looking for residential quarters for its staff, were the first one to have booked two blocks consisting of 80 two-bedroom flats.
With the prevailing market prices of properties in neighbourhoods like MRC Nagar hovering between 18,000 and 20,000 per sqft, the apartments at Foreshore Estate come at relatively lower price. "The flats with ample open space, car parking, vitrified floors, fire-fighting systems, spaciously designed rooms and landscaped parks cost only 13,000 per sqft," said a senior official. The self-financing scheme of the TNHB comes in four categories —between 960sqft and 1,501sqft in five-storeyed buildings.
However, the government is drawing flak from some environmental activists too. Government's massive redevelopment will cover 25 acres of the Foreshore Estate. Activists alleged the construction was against environmental laws and development control regulations. "Instead of building low intensity habitation for fishermen, the government is keen on introducing multi-storeyed buildings along the coast," said environmental activist T Mohan.
While there is a stiff resistance from the occupants of the slum clearance board's Marina tenements for the World Bank-sponsored rehabilitation project, the state is making all efforts to ensure speedy implementation of the Foreshore Estate housing project.