ECR up to Mamallapuram spruced up

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The East Coast Road (ECR) stretch from Chennai to Mamallapuram in Kancheepuram district is being spruced up, ahead of the second informal talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, scheduled in the coastal town next week.
On Friday morning, huts and unapproved structures along the ECR in Vettuvankeni were removed by officials, with police assistance.
“We had put up this shop after getting permission from the landowner over five years ago. But, now the police came and removed our shop. I wonder whether they will allow us to erect it back, at least after the PM's visit,” said Sangeetha.
Besides huts and other habitations, old abandoned shops and structures, and metal debris along the road were also removed.
An official said it was only usual for them to remove such items but also acknowledged that there were specific instructions to do so ahead of the VVIPs’ visit.
In Kovalam, the road leading to the private hotel, where the dignitaries would be staying, has been expanded. The road on which the Marine Police Station is located has also been provided with new reflectors.
Saleem, who runs a fruit juice shop on the ECR, said he has been instructed by the police to down the shutters close to the meeting. “We have been told to open our shop only after the meeting,” he said.
HelipadThe helipad at Thiruvidanthai, which was laid for the Defence Expo held in April last year, is expected to be put to use for the leaders’ visit.
Police personnel have been posted at the helipad. A police camp is set up at the panchayat union primary school at Nemmeli. Shrubs are being planted in the median on the ECR