Voters still have to walk 7 km to make use of the facility

The district administration has arranged a bus for transporting residents of Kathirimalai, a remote tribal settlement in Anthiyur taluk, to the nearest polling booth located 30km away.

The villagers would be required to trek for 7km on the Anthiyur forest hills to reach a specified motorable road-point from where they would be taken in a bus to the polling booth in Bargur, said District Collector S. Mathumathi.

“We have already deposited Rs. 11,000 with the Transport Department for making to and from conveyance arrangement for 70 voters in the village,” the Collector said.

The district administration has discussed the arrangements with a representative of the residents at Hiriyan.

The tribal people have been asked to assemble at the specified pickup point at around 7.30am.

The idea is to operate one service. But, if a need arises, two trips would be operated, the Collector said.

On Tuesday, Revenue officials arranged for a bus from the Mettur Depot of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation for the purpose, official sources added.

Though residents of the tribal hamlet in the Anthiyur Assembly constituency represented by S.S. Ramanitharan (AIADMK) have been cut-off from the rest of the world for decades due to the remote location of their settlement, there has been no solution to their plight.

Earlier this month, the CPI lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India against election officials for not having a polling station at the tribal hamlet.

Scheme

The hamlet, according to sources, ought to qualify for inclusion under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, a scheme implemented by the Union Ministry of Rural Development to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages, but there is objection from the Forest Department for laying of a road that would cut across the habitat for elephants, bears, deers and other wild animals.