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Ramanathapuram villagers protest closure of ration shops

Special Correspondent
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Demand reopening of the outlets, say main shops are easily accessible

Villagers protesting closure of ration shops at the Collectorate in Ramanathapuram on Monday.— Photo: L. Balachandar
Villagers protesting closure of ration shops at the Collectorate in Ramanathapuram on Monday.— Photo: L. Balachandar

Villagers are up in arms over the recent closure of subsidiary ration outlets and their integration with the main shops. At the grievance day meeting held here on Monday, card holders from Kadambur in Nainarkoil union, Sembadayarkulam in Mandapam union, K.Kodikulam in Uthirakosamangai union and North Medhalodai in Thirupuvanam union staged a protest at the Collectorate complex.

After the district administration integrated more than 70 subsidiary outlets with the main shops following reports of malpractice, cardholders have been demanding the reopening of the subsidiary outlets, saying the main shops are not easily accessible.

Villagers from Kadambur said the ration shop in their village had been functioning for over 30 years and catered to the needs of 155 cardholders.

Now that it had been integrated with the main shop in Siruvayal, the villagers found it difficult to reach the shop.

Residents of Sembadayarkulam village pointed out that they had pooled money and constructed a building at a cost of Rs. 2.5 lakh, as suggested by the district administration, to secure a ration outlet eight years ago. With its merger with the main shop at Usilankattuvalasai, 4 km away, the 130 cardholders in the village, mostly casual workers, were put to undue hardship.

They appealed to the collector to reopen the subsidiary outlet.

Likewise, 135 cardholders from K.Kodikulam protested the integration of the local outlet with that in Vella, claiming it was poorly connected by public transport.

R.Murugajothi from North Medhalodai pointed out that the ration shop had been around for about 40 years and met the basic needs of 200 cardholders, as well as 50 cardholders from the Umayanvalasai village next door. Its merger with the shop at South Medhalodai posed difficulties to the people, she said.

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