Wednesday, Sep 03, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The bridge, belonging to the Highways Department, has since long been abandoned as it is found unworthy for travel by motorised vehicles. Since the water pipeline passes alongside the bridge, the authorities have desisted from pulling it down.
Moreover, under the new water project, one more pipeline would be placed on the bridge, and hence it calls for tamper-proof arrangements. The civic authorities opine that the kutcha shops at the commercial centre present an unseemly sight. The officials opine that it does not synchronise with the present endeavour of the district administration to beautify the town. It is said the shopkeepers were owing allegiance to the AITUC or the CITU.
It is a common sight that whenever there is a strong wind, the shops are getting blown over, but the resilience of the shopkeepers is such that they would not mind getting these re-erected any number of times. They do not seem to be bothered about the expenditure involved in such frequent exercises, because they are free from the botheration of paying rent. The shopkeepers have pooled money to run a common generator to meet their power needs.
According to Jayabalan, who runs a garment shop, earlier, the place was misused by anti-social elements, and the peace-loving people did not dare walk that side. But now, with the advent of the shops, the place attracts a steady stream of buyers.
Mr Jayabalan, however, says that for want of safety, they could not leave the goods overnight in the shops. He says the shopkeepers desire that permanent shops with inbuilt safeguards come up there, and they would not mind paying reasonable rent.
The civic officials say that the bridge must be closed by putting up parapet walls on either side of it.
This measure is intended to protect the pipelines.
The civic officials have mooted the idea to the elected representatives, and the latter feel that the district administration would initiate steps in this direction.
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