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National Crush Rashmika Mandanna lands in political quagmire after praising PM for Atal Sethu

Saturday, May 18, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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Rashmika Mandanna recently visited the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Trans Harbour Link, also known as Atal Setu, in Mumbai and shared a promotional video on her X (formerly Twitter) account. In the video, she praised the bridge for significantly reducing travel time, calling it an innovative achievement. She wrote, "South India to North India… West India to East India… Connecting people, connecting hearts! #MyIndia." Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to her post, expressing his satisfaction with the project, saying, "Absolutely! Nothing more satisfying than connecting people and improving lives." Rashmika expressed her gratitude and pride in witnessing the country's growth, replying, "Sir! What an honor! It's incredibly fulfilling to witness our country's growth as a super proud young Indian."

In the video, Rashmika emphasized the country's rapid development, particularly in infrastructure. She remarked, "I think now, at least, India is not stopping anywhere. Now look at the country's growth. It's freaking brilliant in the last 10 years how the country has grown. The infrastructure, the plan in our country, the road planning, everything, it is just brilliant - I think now it's our time! I just got to know that it's all done in seven years and it's 20 km. It's amazing! Look at it. I am speechless honestly... India is the smartest country, I would like to say!”

However, her praise for PM Modi and the bridge landed her in a political controversy. The Kerala state unit of the Congress party questioned her views, highlighting issues with the bridge's usage. They pointed out that despite the Atal Setu bridge being constructed at an enormous cost of 17,840 crore, it imposes a hefty toll rate of 250 per car for a single trip. The Congress stated, “Dear Rashmika Mandanna Ji, Can you do a pro-bono video on why Mumbaikars are not using the bridge? Is it due to high toll rates?”

According to the Congress, despite its impressive design and strategic importance, the bridge has failed to attract significant traffic, collecting only 22.57 crore in tolls over its first 102 days. This translates to a monthly revenue of approximately 6.6 crore, far below the projected 30 crore. In stark contrast, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, inaugurated in 2009 and built at a cost of 1,634 crore, charges a much more affordable toll of 85 per car and generated 9.95 crore in revenue in March 2022 alone.

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