Actor overwhelmed by public support; Kochi Mayor, PWD Minister draw public ire

Overwhelmed by the support he has been getting against criticisms directed at him by Mayor Tony Chammany and PWD Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju for filling up potholes on the city roads, actor Jayasurya has said that he did not regret his action and will do so again if the situation so demands.

“I am ready to face any consequences for my action,” he said. The actor’s mobile phone has been flooded with supportive calls while social networking sites are brimming with posts even by people all of whom are not his fans.

“My heart is brimming with happiness on seeing the kind of support I am receiving. It proves that people have realised my intention. In fact, women of my mother’s age have come to my defence saying that an actor like me need not repair roads for publicity,” Mr. Jayasurya said.

Taking a dig at the Mayor’s criticism that the holes were filled up unscientifically, Mr. Jayasurya said that the gravel that he spread was not for the next 10 years but was expected to last only till the time the authorities’ eyes opened to the condition of roads.

He said he didn’t discuss his intention to fill up the holes with anyone but did so as he felt that it was his responsibility. The actor was happy that notwithstanding the controversy, his action succeeded in attracting attention to a burning issue faced by the people.

His action will automatically draw publicity not because of Jayasurya the individual but because of the profession he was in.

“My actions and words would not have drawn attention if I were not an actor. Many thousands would have filled potholes in the roads before me but their actions didn’t create news because they were in other fields. Even Mr. Tony Chammany’s words would not have made it in to the media if he was not the Mayor,” Mr. Jayasurya said.

The actor further said that the name and phone number of the contractor responsible for each road should be displayed publicly so that people would not trouble the Mayor.

Meanwhile, Residents’ Associations Coordination Council (RACCO) has come out in support of the actor saying that it was ridiculous on the part of authorities to shower insult instead of hailing someone who volunteered to do their duty.

Drawing inspiration from the actor, RACCO has decided to repair roads within the jurisdiction of its member residents’ associations with the participation of the public. It also warned of strong protests if collection of toll was not stopped by the time the Kochi Metro Rail works stopped traffic through M.G. Road. Better Kochi Response Group (BKRG) has come up with a set of recommendations, which they claimed were based on research and will solve the issue of potholed roads.

A release issued by the organisation said that filling up holes using cold mix or cold bitumen will last longer and can be done even during rain. The BKRG had passed the information to the PWD Secretary, who they said, was very enthusiastic about the suggestion. The organisation will demonstrate the filling up of holes using cold bitumen in Thiruvananthapuram on August 7 in the presence of the Secretary, chief engineers and other stake holders.

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