CHENNAI: Worried about the possibility of a new building coming up in a private land hosting a Tasmac outlet, a group of villagers, including both men and women, pulled down the under-construction structure using crowbars and others tools. The incident happened at Alathur in Thiruporur in Kancheepuram district, about 50 km from here, on Thursday.
According to local villagers, it was about a month ago that they first got the indication that a Tasmac shop that was functioning along the highway could be located in their midst.
“I became suspicious when a man who was working at a Tasmac shop near the highway came here to check a site at one end of the village. When I enquired casually, he replied that he came to check the new location for Tasmac shop,” recalled Alathur village panchayat vice-president M Dilli Babu.
The villagers then met officials in Thiruporur taluk, and submitted a petition against setting up the liquor shop in their midst. “Officials assured the people that the shop will not be located there,” Dilli Babu told Express.
Then the land owner, M Venkadesan, approached the taluk officials stating that if Tasmac was not to use his land, he would use it for his own purpose. “After a few days, the foundation of the building was built. We went to the authorities again, after which the work was stopped,” S Manjula from the village
According to Manjula, the proposed site is very close to the panchayat well, on which the families in the village are dependent. “The women and children who go to collect water will have to deal with drunkards,” Manjula added.
Landowner Venkadesan, who runs sewage lorry business, is native of the village who had left the place with his family about five years ago. But he has a piece of land measuring 11 cents on the outskirts of the city, which is in the eye of the storm now.
“I had earlier applied to set up the Tasmac retail shop, but after the villagers opposed, I petitioned the taluk officials stating that I wanted to use the building to set up an office for my business. That is how the construction was taken up. Yesterday night I went from there after the work for the day was over. But today, it has been pulled down by the villagers,” Venkadesan told Express.