Ruing inaction by panchayat president, ward members say forced to foot expenses for basic amenities
Residents and ward members alike rue the lack of basic amenities like door-to-door potable water supply, streetlights, and roads at Kaikalathur panchayat in the district.
Published: 25th July 2022 06:54 AM | Last Updated: 25th July 2022 06:54 AM | A+A A-
PERAMBALUR: Residents and ward members alike rue the lack of basic amenities like door-to-door potable water supply, streetlights, and roads at Kaikalathur panchayat in the district. Claiming inaction by the panchayat president, ward members said they are often forced to set up the facilities at their own expense. Kaikalathur panchayat in Veppanthattai union has four sub-villages, namely Sirunila, Perunila, Padhangi, and Gandhi Nagar.
Potable water is supplied to the overhead tanks in the villages daily by the panchayat. However, villagers complain of having to wait for long to fetch water from the tank owing to a lack of door-to-door supply. This makes it a challenge to fetch water every day, they said. They also complain of the water supply being dusty owing to poor maintenance of the tank.
Poorly maintained and damaged drains, lack of streetlights, and proper roads add to the list of residents’ woes. While ward members and residents mention of having raised several complaints with the panchayat, district collectorate, chief minister’s special cell, Veppanthattai BDO office, and during the grama sabha meeting, they say they went in vain.
On June 25, 2022, residents of Padhangi and Gandhi Nagar even resorted to a road blockade demanding basic amenities in their villages. Panchayat vice-president P Selvakumar said, “We planned to provide door-to-door potable water supply under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) as villagers are finding it difficult to fetch water at one place. We took it up with the panchayat president but she was not ready to do it. The water tanks have not been cleaned for months.
The water is very dusty and stinks badly. However, the villagers are forced to drink it without an option. It is likely to cause health problems. They are at times also forced to pedal to nearby villages to fetch water." Ward 9 member K Krishnamoorthy said, "The panchayat president has not provided to the villages for over two years. She does not cooperate with us on the issues we raise. As a result, people who voted for us are demanding us to solve the problems in their wards.
Left with no other choice, I carried out a few works, including fixing streetlights and road patchwork, in my ward at my own expense. However, several streetlights in the villages are still broken and non-functional." A 35-year-old resident who did not wish to be named said, "As the roads are in very bad condition, it is difficult for us to commute every day.
The drains are ill-maintained, too. Maintenance is taken up only in a few places when the collector visits." When enquired, panchayat president Sumathi Murugesan said, "There is no water issue in our panchayat and we supply it daily. We are taking steps to implement door-to-door water supply, instal streetlights and fix roads. The vice president, however, is creating issues against me."