After a long wait, the tribals of Velikadu hamlet in Kolli Hills in Namakkal district have got electricity supply.
These days, the village wears a bright look after sunset. The electricity connections have also erased the collective feeling of ‘neglect' among the residents, both by society and the government.
A new road connecting the village has been laid. A motor to pump water into an overhead tank ensures that the tribals get potable water. Twelve streetlights have also been installed.
The tribals owe it to Collector U. Sagayam. When he decided to hold a special grievances meeting in the village last month, it raised many eyebrows. Mr. Sagayam trekked 15 km along with his entourage and spent a night in the village.
His visit was a pleasant surprise for the tribals who had never seen a senior officer leave alone a Collector. Even while playing the perfect hosts, they poured out their grievances to him. However, not even in their dreams had they imagined that the Collector's visit would transform their lives.
The administration, thereafter, moved fast. With special permission from the Tamil Nadu government, especially the Forest Department, the road was laid at a cost of Rs.4 crore under the Prime Minister's Village Roads Scheme.
Immediately afterwards a dedicated team from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board braved the hostile terrain and weather condition to erect 38 electricity posts for a distance of 3 km from the Keeraikadu transformer to ensure 22KV power supply.
A 100 KVA/22KV transformer was commissioned in the village. Soon, free colour TVs supplied to seven families in the hamlet sprang to life, throwing open a new world of entertainment and knowledge to the villagers.
Mr. Sagayam has promised to take steps for disbursing ID cards to all tribes in the hills under the Tribal Welfare Board. The eligible would get old-age pension. He thanked the officials for their efforts.