December 28, 2017
The New Year at the doorstep, the year that is passing has seen Coimbatore and its people in focus leaving them with a lot to remember.
The Jallikattu protests
The statewide protests organised by students to save centuries-old Tamil culture was seen as a great game changer in Tamil Nadu. The protests which happened without neither the support of any political party no a proper leadership. The way the protests were conducted did surprise one and all. In Coimbatore, college students also participated in the protests by gathering at public places like the VOC park grounds. Students protested continuously for seven days without indulging in any kind of violence and the protests was a shocker for the State Government which was trying to bring things back to normal after Jayalalitha’s demise. The success of the protests stands out as a testimony of student power when the police were preventing any such gathering there. Though a similar student’s protest was planned after Anitha’s death, police immediately removed the students who tried to gather at a point. Hip Hop Tamizha, one of the first to start the protest, is also a Coimbatorean.
Arrest of Justice Karnan:
Retired High Court Judge Karnan, who was released recently after serving a six-month jail term in Kolkata’s Presidency Jail, was arrested from Coimbatore on June 21. The retired judge who was on the run for almost a month after being sentenced for contempt of court by the Supreme Court, was finally arrested from a private resort here during the late hours of June 21.
Coimbatore Metro Rail project:
The announcement by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami of the Coimbatore Metro Rail project and also the appointment of Chennai Metro Rail Limited to undertake the feasibility study brought cheers to Coimbatoreans. The announcement also brought an end to a long period of uncertainty about the project. In 2010, the Central Government announced list of cities eligible to have metro rail and Kochi was below Coimbatore in that. But, Kochi Metro started chugging this year. Coimbatoreans are awaiting the launch of the Metro, seen as a reliable form of public transportation and Coimbatoreans believe it should be the solution to the City’s traffic woes.
Flyovers and other infrastructural projects:
The inauguration of first tier of Gandhipuram flyover connecting Sathy Main Road with Park Gate was one of the first infrastructure projects dedicated to the city by the Edappadi K Palanisami Government. It said the second tier would be ready before the end of next year. However, the Rs 195-crore project received criticism from different sectors for poor design.
MGR centenary celebrations:
The MGR centenary celebrations that took place in Coimbatore in December will be remembered for different reasons. Firstly, for the massive number of infrastructural projects announced for the city, for the sudden appearance of Jayalalitha’s and MGR’s statues next to that of Annadurai’s in Avinashi Road. It will also be remembered for the ‘Who Killed Raghu?’ campaign, which was started to bring justice to the death of US-returned software engineer Raghupathi whose reason for death given by the officials still remains all that convincing to at least a large section. While official sources said he was killed by a truck coming in wrong side on Avinashi Road, many believe he died hitting the hoarding put up for the celebrations.
There are reasons galore for Comibatoreans to hope that 2018 will bring more joy to the City.