VILLUPURAM/CUDDALORE: Of the total 42 Village Administrative Officers (VAOs) in-charge of 81 village in Vanur taluk, 37 of them went on leave en masse after the Tahsildar reportedly asked them to inspect only selected villages for rain damage.
Heavy rains that lashed the district in the first week of December had affected all the villages and damaged crops in thousands of acres. After the State government announced rain relief, the Revenue officials were busy collecting details of the damage caused by the rains and the resultant floods.
So, Vanur Tahsildar Kamasing asked the VAOs to assess the damage only in 46 villages. The VAOs opposed it saying that all the villages were affected and that taking stock of selected villages would invite the ire of other villagers. But, the tahsildar said orders were orders and asked the VAOs to inspect only selected villages.
Opposing the move, the VAOs gathered in front of the Vanur Taluk office on Wednesday, saying they would not take up inspection work until they get orders to inspect all villages.
But none of the higher officials came to the spot to talk to them and this irked the VAOs. So, 37 of them took leave for the following three days.
Sources said most of them had applied for medical leave and that the VAOs were planning to petition Collector M Lakshmi over the issue. This created confusion among the Revenue officials and other VAOs on duty.
Crops submerged in water after the rains started rotting. Farmers said they cannot do anything about it as they were waiting for the officials to visit their land to assess the damage. The farmers said they would resort to protests if the officials did not inspect the crops soon.
Meanwhile, VAOs in Cuddalore district went on leave en massey demanding police action against persons, who insulted them.