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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bridge across Pennar near Cuddalore – how outrageous !!

This is the tale of construction carried out for the benefit of ‘aaraichikuppam’ off Cuddalore.  If an individual or a group render an act, which normally is to be done by the Government – would you appreciate it or take action against them ?  Not a stupid Q – and the answer can be teasingly one-sided.

 Napier Bridge in Chennai

Civilisations developed around water – near the vicinity of rivers, lakes and other water bodies which provided mankind ample of edible things and assisted cultivation.  But presence of water presented a problem as well – men had to move from one place to another and the waterbody will have to be crossed – only then mankind could communicate to the outside World – trade their merchandise, get the necessities from outside World.  In modern World, there are bridges which connect villages, islands and other places across rivers, lakes and other navigable waters.

Bridge, primarily is a structure built across water bodies such as rivers, lakes and in some places through or across mountains and over roads – for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.  There are very many designs of bridges depending upon the function, the nature of the place where they are constructed, the material used and the funds available..

Bridges have existed from time immemorial – in Ramayana, it was ‘Sethu’ – the bridge built by Lord Rama with the assistance of Sukriva, Hanuman and others across the Ocean to reach Lanka.  Bharathiyar sang of building a bridge to the island of ‘sinhala’.  Bridges have existed from very early times – even a fallen tree would serve as a bridge across a narrow water body.    Bridges  over more than a narrow width require an architectural device which was developed over the years.

This is no post on the development of bridges or on the technology of construction but something which happened at Cuddalore.    Cuddalore is located south of Pondicherry on the coast of Bay of Bengal. River Ponnaiyar emanating from Nandidrug in Kolar, flows south and empties into Bay of Bengal at Cuddalore.  Ponnaiyar is known as Pennar, known as South Pennar – Then Pennai in Tamil.  The river is dry for most part of the year.  Water flows during the monsoon from rains of southwest monsoon.   During such times it can be in spates and people often find it difficult to cross the river and there could loss of lives when the river is in spates.

Some traders came up together to construct a wooden bridge spanning one kilo meter which connects Aaraichikuppam with Pondicherry and hundreds of people using this………  good for the society one would think !!

Not when you the reason and why it was constructed, and by whom ?

Today’s  Dinamalar [22nd Nov 2011] reports that thousands of drunkards cross pennar and go to Pondicherry for drinking alcohol.  When much water flowed in the river, few persons had lost their lives trying to swim across in inebriated condition.  Such accidents deterred people from crossing the Pennar river and the traders perhaps felt that their sales was getting affected.  To augment their sale and ensure that people from across visit their shops without any trouble, it is stated that the alcohol traders got together and constructed a wooden bridge across the river enabling those seeking alcohol to come over without trouble.

It is a bridge spanning  1 km in length, constructed at their own cost by those traders to promote the sale of alcohol – constructed without any permission, with least regard for safety………

The arrack bridge at Cuddalore [photo courtesy Dinamalar]

Now what is your answer to the Q – Do you appreciate the effort or ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

the dinamalar news :

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