TENKASI: Citing that they have to shuttle between two district collectorates in order to redress their grievances, the residents of Pudupatti firka are opposing the State government's decision to conduct local body elections on the basis of the ward delimitation carried out in 2018.
Several villages of the firka including Kuthapanchan, Kalathimadam, Anaiyappapuram, Parumbu, Thalayuthu, Ramnagar, Kasinathapuram and Pudupatti come under Alangulam Taluk of Tenkasi district but fall under Pappakudi Panchayat Union (Development Block) of Tirunelveli district after the district bifurcation.
"Both our taluk and union offices were available in the combined Tirunelveli district before bifurcation. However, Pappakudi has been retained in Tirunelveli but Alangulam is attached to Tenkasi for the bifurcation," explained A Diravidamani of Kalathimadam.
Demanding the State government to attach the villages with the nearby Alangulam Panchayat Union by carrying delimitation afresh before election, Mani David of Arunapuram said, "If the elections are to be held on the basis of older delimitation of wards, we will have to travel to both Tenkasi and Tirunelveli collectorates to demand the revenue and development related services.
"I wonder how, some decades ago, our village which is just 2 km away from Alangulam was attached with Pappakudi Union which is about 16 km away. There was no frequent bus service to that place," he added.
Speaking to TNIE, Assistant Director (Panchayat), Tirunelveli, Vishnuvarathan said that there would be no change in the jurisdiction of Pappakudi Union till the elections are over.
"13 villages of Kurivikulam Union of Tirunelveli district fall under Thoothukudi district. Revenue administration for those villages is under Thoothukudi collectorate but developmental administration is with Tirunelveli collectorate.
The same way, the villages of Pappakudi Union will have to exist and the Block Development Officer (BDO), Pappakudi will engage in election activities in those villages," he said.
A senior official wishing anonymity said, "The people of Pappakudi Union will suffer as they have to travel to Tirunelveli to report on issues related to their panchayat union and Tenkasi to report on revenue related grievances.
However, in terms of fund allocation to their panchayat, there will not be any discrimination. State government allots nine per cent of its revenue to local bodies, of which 60 per cent will go to rural bodies and the urban bodies will get rest 40 per cent.
Central government contributes more fund than the State to the local bodies through Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department."