They threaten to surrender ration cards, Collector moots bifurcation of PACB

The residents of Silambinathanpettai and surrounding areas staged a dharna in front of the Collectorate here on Tuesday demanding the relocation of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Bank (PACB) back in their village.

For the past over two decades, the residents of Silambinathanpettai and that of Pathirakottai, two neighbouring panchayats at Kullanchavadi, have been at loggerheads over the location of the PACB. Initially, the PACB was housed at Silambinathanpettai in its own building but as the customer base increased it faced space constraint. Therefore, it was moved to a spacious rental accommodation at Pathirakottai about 20 years ago. However, time and again the residents of Silambinathanpettai have been urging the authorities to bring back the cooperative bank to its original location.

In the recent elections it was mutually agreed upon between the residents of both the places that if those in the Silambinathanpettai elected a candidate from the Pathirakottai as PACB president, the latter would allow the bank to be shifted back. The Pathirakottai candidate became the president and reneged on the promise. This forced the Silambinathanpettai residents to go on a hunger strike for four days.

Meanwhile, the old building of the PACB at Silambinathanpettai that had been renovated at a cost of Rs. 3.25 lakh was scheduled to be opened on May 26 by Environment Minister M.C. Sampath. But it did not happen.

Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar called their representatives for talks.

The collector suggested bifurcation of these villages to facilitate formation of another cooperative set-up which could function from the new building. The agitators accepted the proposal and dispersed.

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