Kochi: Innovation in ads is nothing new or it may be one of the fortes of the segment. One advert of a company that has sprouted in Kochi bears testimony to the level of creativity that the segment continues to keep.
A company called blueEHR, which is engaged in delivering eHealth solutions, has come out with a hoarding at Palarivattom, next to the infamous Palarivattom overbridge on the National Highway 544 or the old NH-47.
"We build smart health products unlike the bridge on the right," read the ad. Any informed onlooker, especially the denizens of Kochi, will not miss the point that the ad is driving home. The overbridge built at a cost of over Rs 41 crore is now hogging headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The construction on the overbridge started in September 2012 and it was opened for traffic in October 2016. However, soon cracks developed on its girders and piers.
A study by an IIT-Madras team revealed serious faults and a vigilance probe found several irregularities in its construction. It led to the arrest of the heads of the contracting company. The probe is still on and the High Court is hearing a case on it.
The overbridge is closed for traffic and its repairs are mired in controversy. While Metroman E Sreedharan has recommended its demolition and construction of a new flyover, the IIT-Madras team has suggested reinforcing the structure. Meanwhile, people are forced to endure the traffic misery in this crucial NH stretch. For the people of Kerala, Palarivattom overbridge has become a symbol of nepotism, corruption, inefficiency and governmental lethargy. One day people played cricket on the bridge to drive home these points.
Other than the latest advertisement, which has gone viral on social media, there have been more instances of people mocking the government through creativity. There is ‘Palarivattom overbridge rice cake’ which easily crumbles when pressed and can be easily gobbled up. However, politicians and bureaucrats rarely get affected by sarcasm.