Alappuzha: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday laid the foundation stone for a bridge connecting Perumbalam island near Cherthala to the mainland.
Mr Vijayan said the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) had allocated funds for its timely completion.
"This is the Onam gift of the government for Perumbalam inhabitants," he said.
Works minister G. Sudhakaran presided over the function where civil supplies minister P. Thilothaman was the chief guest.
Local MP A.M. Ariff, District Panchayat president G. Venugopal, district collector Dr Adeela Abdulla were among those attended.
The 2016 budget had earmarked Rs 100 crore for the 700-metre Perumbalam- Panavally river bridge.If realised, it would relieve 13,000 villagers from waiting hours for irregular ferry boats run by Kerala water transport department, and the happiest would be class IX student Arjun Santhosh, who used to swim three kilometres across the river every day to reach his school, highlighting their plight.
It drew national attention in June 2016, and he called off the protest after an assurance from the authorities. Presently, the islanders depend on six boat services. They had set up an action council to press their demand....