Popular memorial in Chennai area gets renovated again

Chennai: In a much-welcomed move, the Kaj Schmidt memorial at the Besant Nagar beach, in the city is undergoing renovation, to preserve it from further vandalism.

The city Corporation is carrying out the facelift yet again, despite the complete disregard shown by the some public and visitors to the place, it may be said.

According to sources, the memorial was built back in 1931 to commemorate the bravery of a young Dutch man-Kaj Schmidt who lost his life to save a drowning British girl.

The iconic white monument has immense historical value and is one-of-its kind in the city. However, it is a tipplers den, lovers corner and a selfie spot.

“The ongoing renovation will give the place more prominence. The railing around the structure will be replaced with a higher concrete wall which will prevent trespassing. The broken tiles too will be changed,” sources added.

Besides this, the aesthetics will be enhanced with landscaping work and lighting to draw attention.

Speaking on this, Executive Engineer Vardarajan, said, “The project is taken up by the Park department. Last year too, it was renovated, but within a month it was again vandalised. It is sad to see the condition of this spot which is frequented by people who come to consume alcohol and leave behind bottles.”

It may be noted that last December, residents of Besant Nagar and Adyar had come forward with wreaths and tiny lamps to commemorate 87 years of the memorial.

They highlighted the negligence meted out here, even asking visitors who were taking selfies in the background if they knew what the monument stood for.

Post the New Year revelry, Corporation workers were said to have collected hundreds of liquor bottles from the spot.

When ‘News Today’ asked a Corporation official if a security guard would be posted here, he replied that it was difficult and risky to do so.

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Naomi N