It is to reflect frustration of the people against delay in repairing roads
Udhagamandalam: A period of mourning began here on Sunday. It was to reflect the frustration of the people arising from the inordinate delay in repairing the roads, particularly the Mettupalayam-Ooty-Gudalur national highway and in keeping with a resolution passed at a meeting organised here recently by the Nilgiris Roads Protection Committee.
The hoisting of black flags in various parts of the hill station marked the commencement of the protest. Earlier, hundreds of people participated in a demonstration held at Charing Cross on the threshold of the town.
It was led by the President, Nilgiri Bar Association, P. Sebastian. The demonstrators included representatives of the Nilgiris District Human Rights Organisation, Nilgiris District Two-Wheeler Riders Safety Association, Hindu-Muslim-Christian Welfare Association, District Traders Association, Lorry Owners Association, Hoteliers Association, Rajini Fans Manram, some non-governmental organisations and self-help groups.
Pointing out that the condition of the national highway had never been as bad as it was now, many who addressed the demonstration lamented that all sections of the society had been subjected to considerable hardship for the past about two years.
Wondering why work on setting it right was being delayed, they alleged that corruption was one of the factors. Listing the various forms of demonstration resorted to over the months to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to the problems created by the bad roads, they regretted that even lawyers taking to the streets and the filing of a Public Interest Litigation had failed to produce the desired results.
“Probably it was being delayed with an eye on the next elections,” said the Coordinator of the Committee K.Vijayan.
He cautioned that very soon black flags would start fluttering atop Government offices.
The demonstrators took out a procession from Charing Cross to the Independence Square. Committee member Veera Mathivaanan proposed a vote of thanks.
Meanwhile, the Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran when contacted by media persons claimed that work on setting right damaged portions had commenced. Permanent repairs at an estimated cost of Rs. 80 crore would begin in December.