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President Kalam opens Amrita Sethu bridge

Staff Reporter

The bridge across TS Canal connects Alapad to the mainland



A DREAM-COME-TRUE: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam addressing a gathering at Mata Amrithanandamayi Math, near Kollam, on Wednesday after inaugurating the Amrita Sethu Bridge. Mata Amrithanandamayi is also seen.

KOLLAM: The Amrita Sethu suspension footbridge across the Travancore State (TS) Canal connecting Alapad grama panchayat to the mainland was inaugurated by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday. The bridge, constructed by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, was opened in the presence of the Mata.

Besides a means of getting over to the mainland, the bridge can become an escape route for those at Alapad in case the sea turns rough. The December 26, 2004 tsunami had devastated Alapad and 132 persons had lost their lives. The death toll would have been much less had there been a centrally located bridge connecting Alapad to the mainland. After unveiling the plaque, the President walked up the red carpet spread on the steps of the bridge to view the landscape from top. He then arrived at the Math to address a gathering. In addition to Mata Amritanandamayi, Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran and Fisheries Minister S. Sarma were present on the dais. Math vice-chairman Swamy Amritaswarupananda gave the welcome address.

In her benedictory address, Mata Amritanandamayi recalled the day on which the tsunami hit Alapad and other parts of the world, and said she only wished that such a tragedy was never repeated. She stressed the need to preserve and protect nature. When we start harassing nature, nature reacts by harassing us. Nature should be exploited only for meeting our needs. It should never be exploited in excess.

In his address, the President said he was happy to note that the bridge would greatly benefit the people of Alappad panchayat. For any medical emergency a bridge like this could be a life-saving connectivity. If there is need for large-scale evacuation due to a natural calamity, the bridge will enable people to move to safer places in no time.

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