Protest brewing against Ooty Municipality's expansion plans

As per the plan, the protest was held at Ithalar on Wednesday and a similar protest will be held on Sunday at Nanjanad.
A gathering of residents from five local bodies at Ithalar village, near Ooty, conducted a signature campaign against the move to include their panchayats
A gathering of residents from five local bodies at Ithalar village, near Ooty, conducted a signature campaign against the move to include their panchayats(Photo | Express)

NILGIRIS: Several shops at Ithalar Grama Panchayat remain shut on Wednesday as a protest against the Udhagamandalam Municipality's decision to bring it under its jurisdiction. The Municipality plans to include five nearby local bodies including Ithalar as part of its expansion plans.  
Residents of the five local bodies also gathered at Ithalar village and conducted a signature campaign against the decision.

Over 73,000 residents living at Ketti Town Panchayat and four other Grama Panchayats such as Ithalar Nanjanad, Doddabetta and Ullathi have convened a meeting and decided to stage a series of protests in every area.  

As per the plan, the protest was held at Ithalar on Wednesday and a similar protest will be held on Sunday at Nanjanad.

While the shops were shut till 6 pm, workers stayed away from agriculture works and tea plucking at Ithalar. Police gave permission to conduct the protest till 2 pm at Ithalar.

The residents under the banner of Nakkubetta (Badagar) welfare association decided to protest after the municipality in its urgent meeting held on June 10 passed a resolution to include the above-said five panchayats and upgrade Ooty municipality into a corporation.
Nakkubetta Welfare Association secretary K Manivannan said they do not oppose the municipality's decision to carry out its upgradation from a municipality into a corporation. However, we oppose since the residents will be forced to pay higher amounts for property tax, water charges, underground drainage fees etc if the municipality goes as per plan.

"We have already submitted a petition to Nilgiris district collector M Aruna urging her to take steps not to incorporate these five local bodies as the residents would miss out on various government schemes. Our villages have been benefiting under the 100-day MGNREGA scheme, and school and college students are also getting scholarships. If these areas are added to the Udhagamandalam Municipality, we won't benefit from schemes for the Economically Weaker Sections," Manivannan said. 

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com