In Nityanand Jayaraman’s words, in Chennai, “between a landward moving sea and a seaward moving city, we are crowding out fisherfolk and offering them up as sacrifice to the next cyclone or tsunami”. Historically, the Madras seashore (the city is now known as Chennai) was viewed as a dangerous and undesirable place for housing. The fishing community lived on beaches, most other settlements preferred higher ground around temples and water tanks and lakes. When the city was formally founded by the British, Chennai’s beaches were empty except for small fishing hamlets. As the British expanded their base in the city, they “developed” the northern beaches to serve the commercial needs of the port. In colonial times, the beaches to the south were left untouched, although boulevards and “garden” homes were built along the coast, as in Besant Nagar. However, the growth of the metropolis has produced tension with resident fisherfolk, because of grabbing of the coastal commons. Coastal properties, once thought to be inhospitable, became prime real estate. Today to the north there is an awful concentration of coal power stations at Ennore.