Stir in the wake of The Hindu's reports

Residents of Mulavukad panchayat are all set to launch the second phase of their protest programme to give an impetus to their long-standing demand for a decent motorable road.

The decision to intensify the protest comes in the wake of series of articles carried by The Hindu highlighting the woes of residents of the panchayat due to the sorry state of the internal road.

A hartal in Mulavukad will mark the beginning of the second phase on Monday. In a show of solidarity with the cause, Vypeen MLA S. Sarma will sit on a 24-hour hunger strike at Goshree Junction on that day.

Residents organised under the aegis of the Mulavukad Grama Samrakshana Samara Samithi will take out a protest march and join the MLA at the site of hunger strike. Besides, 101 volunteers of the Samithi will also join the MLA in the hunger strike, said P.V. Udayan, chairman of the Samithi.

The Samithi has been on the protest path demanding immediate implementation of the road development project by the Goshree Islands Development Authority.

People of the panchayat had laid siege to the Container Terminal Road for two hours on October 15 to draw attention to their back-breaking journey on the potholed road.

Mr. Udayan said their initial plan was to go for a more serious mode of protest during the second phase. “However, Mr. Sarma volunteered to sit on hunger strike and advised us to give them a chance before adopting extreme steps,” he said.

“We will give the government a maximum of two weeks after the hartal. If the government still continues its callous attitude towards the people of Mulavukad, we will lay siege to the High Court junction for three days,” Mr. Udayan said.

Thirteen private buses that used to operate here had stopped operations citing the bad roads as a cause for leaving people at the mercy of the autorickshaw operators and sporadic KSRTC and boat services.

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