COIMBATORE: Residents of Ponnandampalayam are a harried lot as the village administration is under the jurisdiction of four panchayats. Their appeal to the State government to place them under a single local body has not been met for more than a decade.
There are around 400 houses in Ponnandampalayam. The eastern side of the village comes under Kaniyur, the southern side under Arasur, the western side under Naranapuram and the northern part falls under Moppiripalayam town panchayat. Interestingly, it comes under two panchayat unions (Annur and Sulur), assembly constituencies (Sulur and Avinashi) and parliamentary constituencies (Coimbatore and Nilgiris).
Due to this jurisdiction issue, locals said access to basic schemes like a fully stocked ration shop, roads, and drinking water supply is unequal because each local body has different priorities and allocation of funds is not equal.
Also, the residents complain of difficulty in availing schemes like a gold loan from agricultural cooperative society banks, and passport verification (the village comes under Sulur and Karumathampatti police limits). As for pregnant women, registration under the PICME scheme and getting vaccinated are major issues, said K Velusamy, president of Kaniyur panchayat.
The villagers said they took up the issue with government officials at different levels but did not get a response. The villagers want to be brought under Kaniyur panchayat. As their petitions yielded no response, they held protests several times but they too were in vain.
"In the run-up to Assembly election in 2021, DMK announced that the village will be brought under one local body, soon after the regime change. More than 10 months have passed since DMK came to power, but our demand is yet to be addressed," said M Palanisamy, a resident of Ponnandampalayam.
"If the village is brought under one panchayat, our basic grievances will be addressed easily. We expect a favourable announcement in the current Assembly session," he added.
Based on a High court order, the government conducted meeting with residents of the village in October 2015 and a report was submitted to the rural development department in 2016. The decision on the issue is not yet been addressed, according to the sources from the Coimbatore district administration.
District Collector GS Sameeran assured to look into the issue. Sources in the Rural Development Minister KR Periyakaruppan's office said they will look into the issue and asked the villagers to resend the petition again for consideration in the upcoming delimitation process.