Vent their anger by pasting posters in prime locations

Even before dates have been announced for the Lok Sabha polls, angry villagers, who have no basic infrastructure facilities, have threatened to boycott the polls.

On Sunday, more than 300 people from R. Kombai panchayat near Vedasandur comprising six villages, including Karattu Salaiyur, Karattur, Mamarathu Salai and Kalathur, said that they would boycott the polls if their century-year-old demand of laying an asphalt road was not met.

Posters have been pasted in prime locations, that tell of the villagers’ anguish. This has shocked the political parties and alerted the district administration.

No steps taken

“No steps have been taken to lay asphalt road till date. The situation turns worse during rainy season, as the mud roads turn slushy and slippery. Road users have to struggle every day,” say the residents in one voice.

“We have to transport all agriculture commodities to the nearest market through this road. We are tired of giving petitions and knocking at the doors of all departments,” they pointed out.

“During elections, the road problem figures in the election manifesto of almost all political parties. But they forget it, once they are elected to power. Even in last assembly elections, candidates had assured to lay an asphalt road,” the villagers added.

Contractors refuse to hire farm equipment to farmers in these villages owing to the pathetic condition of the road, said Govindasamy, a farmer. With no roads, buses were also not operated to these villages.

Repeated appeals to officials and elected representatives have gone in vain. “If they continue to ignore our genuine demands, we would boycott the election permanently”, villagers threatened.

When contacted, R. Kombai Panchayat president Uma Maheshwari said that talks were on with Vedasandur MLA and officials to lay the road. As the area was close to a reserve forest, getting permission from the forest department was a daunting task.

“We will find a solution soon to this persisting problem,” she assured.