Thiruvananthapuram: Popular Malayalam actor Jaisurya got to work on a road in Kochi ravaged by the monsoon rains with the help of friends and well wishers, but the voluntary work has not gone down well with Kochi mayor, Tony Chammany.
Rain-damaged roads have become a common sight across Kerala after nearly two months of continuous pounding by the monsoon rains, and the mayor’s ire at the actor’s attempt to repair a road has sparked mixed reactions.
On television channels and social media, several people supported Jaisurya, wondering what was wrong with the actor lending his shoulder to repair a wrecked road. Some others asked why the mayor had not taken steps to repair the road all this while, and yet lost no time to criticise the actor. On his part, the actor has chosen not to be dragged into a controversy.
But the mayor has not taken kindly to the actor’s effort, pointing out that it was unauthorised for any private individual to take up repair works on public roads. According to the mayor, private individuals have no business carrying out road repair works in the manner that they feel like.
However, many Kochi residents would not toe the official line considering the poor state of the city roads and the delay in repairing them. At the Edapally junction in the heart of town, potholes are hampering traffic so much that traffic snarls are a day-long problem, aggravated by the fact that Edapally now has a large mall which attracts thousands of customers each day.
While the mayor gave the official line on the incident, Keralites are used to seeing saplings of plantain or other trees planted in craters on the road to attract attention to the large craters on the roads. Protests against poor road conditions have also been registered by holding pothole-counting competitions and mocking the delays in road repairs.