PUDUKOTTAI: S Tharani (22) of Alangapatti village in Pudukottai district suffered miscarriage twice. The main road connecting seven villages of the Periyathambiudayanpatti panchayat under Kulathur taluk is the reason why young women like Tharani suffer miscarriages, say the local villagers. The road was not relaid for over 15 years now. As a result, people undergo a lot of hardships.
"The first time I suffered a miscarriage after I fell down while riding pillion with my husband and the second time was from the impact of riding through the damaged, bumpy road," Tharani recalls.
Suffering a miscarriage, and twice at that, takes a huge toll on the physical and mental health for someone her age, Tharani reminds.
S Nithya (31), another resident of Alangapatti, mentions having suffered a miscarriage while riding back after a regular check-up at the nearby primary health centre (PHC) in Andakullam with her husband. "The foetus was found to be healthy when I got the scan results from the PHC but after returning to the house I started bleeding, and that is when I realised I suffered a miscarriage for the second time."
S Muthukannu (65), another villager, recollects the harrowing experience she encountered after hurting her leg while riding pillion with her husband on a cycle. She said she had to endure the pain while walking all five kilometres to the PHC for treatment.
A doctor in the Andakulam PHC cited the damaged road as a possible cause for the miscarriages, adding how prolonged disturbances can affect the foetus.
Further, local people also claimed the condition of the road has ensured that government buses do not enter the villages. Pointing to the nearest bus stop to access Pudukkottai being a good five kilometres away, the villagers said the damaged road was the lone option to reach it as the shorter paths to Andakulam and Perungalur –where the nearest shelters are - ran through farmlands.
Residents of Periyathambiudayanpatti also voiced similar concerns over the plight of the road running through their village, adding how their children were forced to cover a stretch of seven kilometres on foot or by cycle to attend school.
When enquired, Kulathur Tahsildar M Periyanayagi said considering the maintenance involved, responsibility for the road was handed over to the Highways Department a year ago. The department has floated a tender for re-laying the road but they are yet to confirm it, she added. An administrative official blamed the lack of funds for not re-laying the road for over 15 years now, while a revenue official claimed poor governance by the local body for the plight.