THOOTHUKUDI:At last, residents of Madathupatti village in Vilathikulam Taluk, who have always had to trek in and out of their village, can dream of driving out as a new road was laid to their village for the first time ever.
Madathupatti, located in a remote area of the Chennampatti panchayat in Pudhur Union, is an agrarian village with a population of about 100. Agriculture is carried out on about 900 acres.
According to village elders, ever since the hamlet was inhabited about 200 years ago and as far as memory goes, the village never had roads and hence had no means of vehicular transport. Residents walk across farmlands during the summer to reach the nearest town of Pudhur.
During the monsoon or when crops are cultivated they are forced to take a slightly longer route by walking between fields, instead of cutting across them. Connectivity to essential services and schools were difficult and a majority of people migrated from the village.
Speaking to Express, Jeyaprakash, vice president of Chennampatti Panchayat, who once lived in Madathpatti, said, “Students suffered a lot as they had to walk more than 4 kms to reach the nearest school. Since most people migrated from the village, a panchayat primary school in Madathupatti was closed.”
” But, the biggest problem the farming village faced was transporting harvest to markets. “Because there were no roads, farmers could not transport the produce immediately after harvest. It would take more than six months after harvesting to transport all the produce, said Jeyaprakash.
Many land owners rented their farms to other farmers on Kuthagai, hoping that one day the area would develop and they would be able to return to lead a comfortable life.
The villagers made several representations to the local administration, but all their pleas fell on deaf ears. They staged several protests and submitted several petitions to the Collector. They even staged a fast in 2005, but none of their actions bore fruit.
Today, thanks to one migrant, the village got its first ever road.
In 2013, Pushpam, who works in the assistant director cadre at the Secretariat, visited her village for a temple festival. She was reminded of the difficulty faced by the village and recommended that a road be laid to the village.
Following her recommendations a new road project to the village was taken up at a cost of `1.63 crore and the work is under process.
Villagers hope that the under-construction road will be completed before the monsoon and their lives would get a little better.