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Vyttila flyover ‘opening’: V4Kerala supporters’ arrest sparks debate

Outfit says state govt is wreaking vengeance for its protest demanding early inauguration

Published: 08th January 2021 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2021 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

Police personnel stand guard at the Kundannoor flyover which is scheduled for inauguration on Saturday | A Sanesh

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Even as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is scheduled to inaugurate Vyttila and Kundannoor flyovers on Saturday, a debate is raging whether the opening of the flyovers should have been delayed for more than a week since the load testing, blocking the traffic on the busy stretch every day for several hours.

The heated debate, coming in the wake of the arrests of the activists of V4Kerala, a recently-launched apolitical outfit, questions the need for a formal opening of the key flyovers when the chief minister could very well do it from Thiruvananthapuram through an online event, especially in Covid times.

Justice Kemal Pasha fired the first salvo on Wednesday saying there was “nothing unusual” in some people throwing open the ready-for-inauguration flyover. “Does inauguration take place only when the chief minister steps into it?” he asked.

D Dhanuraj, chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research, a Kochi-based think tank, echoed a similar view. “I always wonder why we need the PM to inaugurate the Metro and the CM to inaugurate the flyover when the mayor of the city has the biggest stake in it. It shows how the power structure is inversely proportional to grassroots democracy,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, V4Kerala reiterated that the government was ‘acting with vengeance’ on them for staging a protest demonstration demanding the opening of the flyover recently. “We protested in a democratic manner. But our workers are booked for the charges which were committed by somebody. The police are arresting those who participated in the V4Kerala protest at Vyttila demanding the opening of flyover on December 31,” said V4Kerala leader John Jacob.He said the government is attempting to put V4Kerala activists behind bars till the inauguration of the flyover.



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