VILLUPURAM: Around 80 families of Irudaiyapuram near Tindivanam petitioned officials and Puducherry - Cuddalore Archbishop, on Saturday, to stop the construction of the Sacred Heart Church's compound wall, as it would block the path to the Tindivanam - Tiruvannamalai national highway.
They also claimed that if the wall was constructed it would force them to take a one-kilometer detour. It is to be noted that, all the residents of the area belong to the Arunthathiyar (SC) community and their forefathers converted to Christianity around two generations ago.
"After this, the father of the Tindivanam parish donated land behind the church to residents for their settlement," said A Don Bosco, a resident of Irudaiyapuram.
According to Masthan Valli Bhai, an activist from Puducherry, "Irudaiyapuram representatives submitted a plea to the Puducherry-Cuddalore archbishop's office in Puducherry. They said they would take a decision regarding the plea after talks with the respective area parish father." The church should provide a 20-feet-long path, so that vehicles can reach the residential area, during emergencies, she added.
Speaking to TNIE, Tindivanam Parish Reverend Father D Savarimuthu said, "A major amount of land that belongs to the Sacred Heart Church was allotted for the residential area. Now, we can't even extend the church. The compound is being constructed for safety purposes. The church management is willing to give four feet for the path, but will provide a 36-feet for the alternate path."
However, some persons are igniting conflicts for personal benefits and giving complaints against the church management, alleged Savarimuthu.
A senior official source from Tindivanam taluk office said a peace meeting was organised regarding this issue. "Since the land belongs to the church, the government can't interfere in the issue. However, a request was made to provide a path for the residential area," said the official source.