August 20, 2016
Tension prevailed on the Nanjundapuram–Podanur Road as angry residents picketed the streets after the officials of the District Administration attempted to demolish a small bridge in the area, following a court order, here in Coimbatore, on Saturday.
The tiny bridge over the Noyyal River was constructed temporarily by the Public Works Department as a makeshift pathway until the Podanur Rail Over Bridge (ROB) was ready. According to sources, the issue was taken to the High Court by Coimbatore Consumer Cause, after the association claimed that the bridge had been built by encroaching the Noyyal River.
While the court had ordered the District Administration to reply to the charges, the administration’s failure to respond made the association file a contempt of court petition. Following this, the court directed the administration to submit photos of the demolished bridge.
The issue however did not go down well with the local residents who claimed the bridge was helping them by and large. “We have been using the bridge for a long time, and, if it is blocked, we have to take a long and time consuming detour,” said K. Subramani, one of the residents.
He further added that the administration should allow them to use the bridge until the Podanur ROB is complete. According to officials, it will be another 15 months before the ROB is ready.
Succumbing to local pressure, the workers stopped the demolition activities for the rest of the day. But, a higher official from the PWD said that they will have to demolish the bridge since it was a court order.