Residents of Melapalayam staged a demonstration while standing inside Palayam Channel on Wednesday condemning the removal of a temporary bridge laid across the channel recently.
After the 80-year-old small bridge across the channel that enabled the residents to go to Tirunelveli Town was reportedly found damaged, it was demolished a month ago by the Public Works Department. A temporary bridge was laid by layingg huge pipes with a diameter of three feet. When water was released into the channel for ‘kar’ paddy cultivation, the temporary bridge was damaged. The PWD could not continue with the construction work as water flowed in the channel.
Considering the safety of people, the remains of the temporary bridge were removed after appealing to the people to use another permanent bridge in the area, which is also in a bad shape.
As it affected movement of people, particularly students going to schools and colleges, the agitated public staged a demonstration while standing along the banks of the Palayam Channel. When one of the girl students standing along the banks accidentally fell into the channel, youths saved her.Subsequently, a group of public got into the channel to continue their demonstration while standing in hip-deep water.
“After the temporary bridge was washed away, those who are going to Melanaththam, Vilaagam, Karuppanthurai and Tirunelveli Town from Melapalayam have to travel 3 km more through a circuitous route,” said Mohideen of Tamil Nadu Thowheedh Jamaath.
When Inspector of Police, Melapalayam, Thillai Nagarajan, held talks with the protestors, they said they would give up the agitation only if the PWD officials promised about the laying of new temporary bridge at this spot at the earliest.
Subsequently, Assistant Divisional Engineer of PWD Krishnasamy held talks with the protestors and assured them that their demand would be fulfilled before next Monday (August 6) that put an end to the protest.
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