KOCHI:The four-kilometre Marine Drive stretch jewelled by the beauty of the backwaters and trees hereafter will be known after late A P J Abdul Kalam, fondly called the People’s President.
At a function held here on Wednesday morning, Governor P Sathasivam named the walkway as ‘APJ Abdul Kalam Marg’ by unveiling a name board.
As the nation is observing mourning over the late former President, the function was brief and none of the dignitaries gave any speeches. Only the national anthem was played.
The Governor, who was accompanied by his wife Saraswathi Sathasivam, also watered the tree which was planted nine years ago at Marine Drive, as per the directions of Kalam. The GCDA has constructed a boundary wall around the tree, which has a history of its own.
In December 2006, the trees near the Marine Drive were chopped down as part of APJ’s visit to the city. The move had drawn flack from several quarters. When Kalam learnt about the incident, he directed the District Collector to plant twice the number of trees that were chopped down to compensate the loss.
Later, Abdul Kalam made it a point to enquire about the trees planted along the walkway and also watered them.
“The name board ‘APJ Abdul Kalam Marg’ has been erected in English, Malayalam and Hindi. Earlier, there were plans to erect only the name boards in English and Hindi. However, through the intervention of the Governor, a Malayalam name board was also placed here. We will also install the biographical sketches of APJ Abdul Kalam on the stretch,” said GCDA Chairman N Venugopal.
Mayor Tony Chammany, MLA Hibi Eden, District Collector M G Rajamanickam and GCDA Secretary R Lalu also attended the function.