Hartal held demanding to exclude areas from Vellarikundu

If a cross-section of people have welcomed the decision to create Vellarikundu taluk hoping to augment development activities in the hilly hamlets of the district, people from two prominent panchayats of Kallar and Panathady staged a day-long hartal on Wednesday demanding exclusion of the areas from the new taluk.

The entire trading fraternity in Kallar and Panathady panchayats downed their shutters while all the public transport vehicles, including the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses, did not ply crippling normal life in the hilly hamlet.

The buses bound for Karnataka border township of Panathur, 44 km from Kanhangad, operated up to Chullikara, bordering the Kallar panchayat, and then returned to Kanhangad.

The shops and other business centres in the two panchayats downed shutters up to 5 p.m. to express solidarity with the protesters.

The Kallar grama panchayat president H. Vigneshwar Bhat and Panathady grama panchayat vice-president James, the action committee members spearheading the protest, opposed the moves to include their localities in the new taluk stating that it would invite great deal of travel ordeal.

Kallar and Panathady had easiest access to Kanhangad, where the Hosdurg taluk was headquartered. But the moves to include the two panchayats in the Vellarikundu taluk would make it inconvenient for the people to reach the new taluk headquarters. The people of the new panchayats would have to break their journey and get down at Odayanchal and wait endlessly to board the limited number of bus services towards Vellarikundu.

Sources said the office-bearers of the action committee of the two panchayats were camping in the State capital to impress upon the authorities the need to exclude their regions from getting annexed to the new taluk.

  • Kallar and Panathady part of Hosdurg taluk

  • Panel leaders in capital raising this demand