To register ire over lack of power supply in a portion of Thiruporur

On Tuesday, residents of Thiruporur in Kancheepuram district will celebrate Pongal with black flags to protest the fact that a portion of the town panchayat remains without electricity connections.

A megalithic site, which is Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected property, is located in this part of the town panchayat. Residents say Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) officials are hesitating to provide electricity despite a clarification from the ASI that they have to be notified only in case of construction or mining activities.

P. Parameswari, a resident, says her family has not used electrical appliances in a long time. “I have not used any of the freebies that the government gave us, be it the TV or grinder or fan. They remain in their boxes,” she said.

At least 500 homes that do not have electricity have their dinner cooked before sunset. “My children study with the help of kerosene lamps. We need at least three hours of electricity for them to study in the evenings,” said Chandrasekar, an agricultural labourer.

Thiruporur panchayat president Saktheswari Sivaraman said residents were extremely unhappy with the long wait for power supply. “We are demonstrating protest in every possible way. We want the Central government to change the policy. We will not allow any political party to campaign in our villages for the Parliamentary elections,” she said.

A senior official of Tangedco said they were very cautious about giving electricity connections to any properties that are near ASI-protected sites. In this case, though ASI would have given a ‘no objection certificate’ for the electricity connections, Tangedco officials are not willing to take the risk of providing power supply.  

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