Kallupatti is 7 km away, bus services inadequate: Thuvarankurichi residents

The location of the office of the newly formed Marungapuri taluk in the district has become a bone of contention among residents of different villages in the taluk. On Tuesday, a local bandh was observed in Thuvarankurichi demanding that the office be located at the village and not at Kallupatti.

While the government’s move to create the new taluk by bifurcating the Manapparai taluk has been largely welcomed, there have been pulls and pressures from different villages on the question of where the taluk headquarters should be located.

Last week, residents of Marungapuri observed a day-long fast demanding that the taluk office be located in the village and in protest against the reported move to locate the office in neighbouring Kallupatti. Shopkeepers in the village had downed shutters in support of the demand.

On Tuesday, it was the turn of Thuvarankuichi residents to highlight their cause. Residents, organised under the banner of an all-party coordination committee, observed a day-long fast. Shops in the village remained closed. While Marungapuri residents say that the proposed office site at Kallupatti was 3 km away from their village, people of Thuvarankurichi say that it was 7 km away for them.

“Thuvarankurichi is the largest of the 49 village panchayats in the new taluk. We do not oppose the taluk being named Marungapuri, but we want the taluk office to be located here. Already, people are facing problems as the panchayat union office is located at an accident-prone zone at Kallupatti off the Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway,” said A.P.K. Venkatesan, union secretary of the Bharathiya Janata Party.

The agitators contend that most other facilities such as banks and hospitals were located in Thuvarankurichi, which is considered the central location in the region for holding political meets and other events. Thuvarankurichi houses the Ponnampatti Town Panchayat office and the village has a population of about 25,000, said A. Malik, president, Ponnampatti Town Panchayat.

Residents complain that bus service to Kallupatti is inadequate and locating the taluk headquarters office there was an ill-advised move. “People have to visit the taluk office for availing various services. If the office were to be located at Kallupatti, residents of all parts of the region will face problems. For instance, if they had to remit fee for a government service, they would have to come to Thuvarankurichi,” said Mr. Venkatesan.

The people of the villages say there are suitable sites at Thuvarankurichi to locate the taluk office and they have been pressing for it ever since the government announced the creation of new taluk.

Members of the coordination committee have planned to seek an audience with the Chief Minister to press their demand.