They lay roads, provide drinking water facilities to habitations

People of Senathikottai, a remote habitation in Kottakudi village panchayat in the district, no longer need to carry pregnant women on a cot for emergency medical care for want of road, thanks to the Tamil Nadu Village Habitations Improvement (THAI) Scheme.

At least 10 habitations in RS Mangalam union have been provided with access roads, pathways to crematorium/burial grounds, street lights and drinking water facilities under the THAI Scheme, a flagship programme introduced by the State government in 2011-12 to provide minimum basic infrastructure facilities to all habitations.

“But for THAI Scheme, I would not have been able to provide these facilities to the people, who elected me,” says K. Jayalakshmi, president of Kottakudi panchayat in RS Mangalam union.

She said the panchayat, which comprised nine habitations, received quarterly grants of about Rs.3 lakh from the general fund, which was too small to create infrastructure facilities.

Thanks to the Rs.30 lakh granted for the panchayat under THAI Scheme, she could discharge her duties with a sense of satisfaction. She had laid roads, connecting remote habitations in her panchayat. These roads were a boon to the schoolchildren, who had to walk across fields to reach the nearest access point earlier, she said.

Another major achievement was providing drinking water to about 500 families, which were using Naduvakudi tank water for bathing and drinking purposes, she said.

For S. Rani, president of Azhagardevankottai panchayat, also in RS Mangalam union, laying of road to Annamalai Nagar from the highway via Ponmari was a challenging task after she became the president and she had achieved it with the funds allotted under THAI Scheme.

About 200 schoolchildren from six surrounding villages, who travelled five km on the accident-prone State Highway to reach their school in Irudhayapuram, could now reach the school by travelling just 1.5 km on the new road, she said.

She had also provided an approach road to a burial ground at Periyanpacheri and a road to Sooramadai using the funds. Azhindakottai habitation had no electricity for about 70 years and she had brought light to them, using the THAI Scheme funds. A green house provided for a beneficiary in the hamlet was the only concrete house, she added.

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