Non-repair of bridge invites novel protest

Potholes on Kumbalam-Aroor bridge given numbers.

Kochi: Protests have been pouring in from all quarters against the National Highway Authority of India’s lackadaisical attitude towards repairing the old Kumbalam-Aroor bridge along National Highway-47 which has been closed to traffic for the past four months.

On Sunday, Youth Congress activists carried out a novel protest numbering each of the potholes on the bridge with white paint.

“The bridge is built unscientifically. We counted 200 potholes in a 20-metre stretch. The NHAI is doing nothing for the past over four months which has resulted in heavy congestion at Aroor and Kumabal junctions,” Youth Congress Secretary Sherin Varghese said.

The protestors also gheraoed the Kumabalam toll plaza for nearly an hour during which the toll plaza employees could not collect toll fees from vehicles. “If the concerned authorities do not take up the repair work in a week, we will not allow collection of toll charges,” Sherin said.

Last week, the permanent Lok Adalat had issued a showcause notice to the NHAI over its failure to repair the bridge. The NHAI project director was given time till December 9 to reply to the notice.

Despite a direction by the district collector and the widespread protest from various quarters, the NHAI is yet to repair the bridge where nearly 200 potholes have popped up after the monsoon in the 500-metre stretch.

( Source : dc )
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