People from tribal villages near Sirumugai on the district outskirts, who are forced to take risky coracle rides to cross Kandyar river following a bridge nearby getting submerged, can now breathe a sigh of relief as a motorised boat has started to ferry the public across the waterbody since Wednesday.
Thereby to facilitate villagers to reach Kandavayal and Lingapuram on either sides of the river, three coracles were operated by individuals after collecting a fee from the commuters. The students although were ferried for free at specific timings, were still taking the ride by risking their lives without life jackets due to supply shortage.
Following demands from the inconvenienced villagers for a motor boat and adequate life jackets, a mechanised fibre boat that was being operated for tourists in Aliyar was hence brought to Lingapuram with 20 life jackets. On Wednesday, Mettupalayam MLA OK Chinnaraj inaugurated the operation of the motorised boat by taking a ride in it in the presence of Tahsildar Santhamani and other officials. Tahsildar Santhamani said that the villagers can take free rides in the boat until the situation resumes normalcy.