The direction of the State government to temporarily stop all electricity and water supply disconnections upsetting the life of tribal people during the drought season has come as a relief for many in the rural areas of the district.

Owing to the failure of bill payment, the Electricity Board and the Kerala Water Authority had cut off the supply to several households in the district. As per the Chief Minister’s order, all the disconnected water and electricity connections in tribal hamlets will be replaced shortly. But the benefits of the new relaxation will be available for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families only till May 31. Thereafter, the action against failures in bill payment will continue the same way.

Intervention

The new decision that comes as a result of the frequent intervention of people’s representatives from the region will mainly benefit the SC and ST colonies at Thiruvambadi, Kodenchery, Paruthippara, and Vattachira. In the absence of proper electricity and water supply, they have been undergoing a harrowing time.

Thiruvambadi MLA C. Moyinkutty, who firstly took up the matter with the government, said the issue was demanding more attention from all responsible local bodies and district administration.

“The tribal population in the district is leading a totally miserable life, as most of the family members are addicted to alcohol and other sedative drugs,” he added.

According to Mr. Moyinkutty, the grama panchayats concerned should take up the responsibility of paying the electricity and water charges of the tribal households in the district, as most of them were ignorant of the payment formalities and the after effect of delayed payments. “As their usage is very minimal, the panchayats will be easily able to bear the expense, which will have certainly a good effect on the community,” he said.

District Pachayat member V.D. Joseph, who was also campaigning for the demand, said the grama panchayats should be able to set apart a special fund for the purpose and help out the underprivileged tribal population.