Prices of eatables have gone up by 50 per cent in Sankarankoil

The by-election is indeed a blessing in disguise for the traders, entrepreneurs in service sector and also the house owners having reasonably good dwellings in and around Sankarankovil, who are making hay while the sun shines.

After major political parties deployed its MLAs, Ministers, former Ministers, party office-bearers, district secretaries, et al, for electioneering at Sankarankovil, all of them have occupied the decent houses in and around this reserved segment for the past one week.

No hesitation

Though the house owners demanded a rent anywhere between Rs.8,000 and Rs.10,000 for just twenty days, leaders of the political parties, who have been deployed at this reserved segment with an assignment, never hesitated to occupy even these smaller houses to carryout electioneering without any problem.

When senior leaders, MLAs, MPs and former and present Ministers look for relatively bigger houses in an affluent area like NGO Colony of Sankarankovil, the rent has been increased manifold.

“When we approached a person with a 3 bedroom house at NGO Colony, he demanded Rs.1 lakh for just 25 days. Finally, he agreed for Rs.75,000 but asked us to fit the air-conditioners after providing 3 phase power connection, all borne by us,” said a Minister.

Another Minister had to construct a toilet and a bathroom in the rented house.

A cool deal

The most important norm of the agreement struck between the house owners and the occupants is that the air-conditioner fitted in the house for the comfort of the VIP should be left as such when he leaves the house on March 16.

“It is also being agreed upon,” said the manager of a lodge at Sankarankovil.

Those who could not find independent houses have preferred to stay in the small outhouses in the godowns of business establishments and spinning mills.

No rooms to stay

Moreover, rooms in almost all the hotels in Tirunelveli and neighbouring Virudhunagar districts have been booked en-masse annoying marriage groups and businessmen visiting these districts.

Proprietor of a Chennai-based software development firm, who used to visit his franchise across Tamil Nadu quite often, could not get an air-conditioned room in a leading hotel on Madurai Road, where he used to stay whenever he comes to Tirunelveli.

“I could book the room only with the help of my friend here since most of the rooms have been reserved for the leaders of the political parties in the electoral battle at Sankarankovil,” another software professional M. Anto Peter of Chennai said.

Owners of the eateries are also there out to seize the opportunity by upwardly revising the price.

“Since the newcomers are not bothered about money, 50 per cent hike has been effected on the prices of all eatables and we expect it will come down after March 18,” said K. Ganesh, a sweet-stall owner.