Third time unlucky? Man who made Odanthurai a model village defeated

Odanthurai, a panchayat in Mettupalayam Taluk is known for becoming self-sufficient in electricity generation.

Published: 03rd January 2020 05:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2020 04:01 PM   |  A+A-

Houses built under Green House Project Scheme at Odanthurai Panchayat. (Photo | A Raja Chidambaram, EPS)

By Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Odanthurai Panchayat which flourished under the administration of an AIADMK man and his wife for over 20 years, has elected a candidate fielded by the DMK in the current edition of the local body polls.

According to sources, R Shanmugam of AIADMK, who is credited for the development of Odanthurai Panchayat as a model village in the country, lost the polls by a slim margin of 53 votes. Thangavel, the candidate backed by DMK secured the panchayat president post with 1,409 votes. 

Odanthurai, a panchayat in Mettupalayam Taluk is known for becoming self-sufficient in electricity generation. It has its own windmill of 350-kilowatt capacity that was set up at a cost of Rs 1.55 crore at Maivai near Udumalai in the year 2005. Interestingly, it is selling nearly two lakh units of electricity out of 6.75 lakh units that were generated to the TNEB and is making a revenue of more than Rs 20 lakh a year. 

Under the “Green House” scheme of the State government, more than 850 houses were built and handed over to the beneficiaries in the place. It is said to be the highest in the State. Shanmugam is credited for all the developments made in Odanthurai after he became the president of the panchayat in 1996. The man has studied only up to class X.

After having held the post for ten years till 2006, he had to step down from the post since it was reserved for women the next time around. S Lingammal, wife of Shanmugam held the post till 2016. People in the know said that despite Lingammal holding the post, it was Shanmugam who played a major role in the development of the village. With the panchayat brought back into the general category once again this time around, Shanmugam contested in the election, but lost. 


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