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Villagers block road demanding drinking water

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UNIFIED ACTION: Residents of Avanashipalayam and its surrounding areas block road at the Avinashipalayam junction on Monday. - Photo: M. Balaji
UNIFIED ACTION: Residents of Avanashipalayam and its surrounding areas block road at the Avinashipalayam junction on Monday. - Photo: M. Balaji

Staff Reporter

Condemn TWAD Board officials' attitude

TIRUPUR: More than 2,000 villagers blocked the busy Karur-Coimbatore National Highway and Tirupur-Dharapuram Highway at the Avanashipalayam junction on Monday condemning the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board officials for their `apathy' to supply of drinking water.

The villagers from Avanashipalayam, Koduvai, Kovipalayam, Goundanpalayam, Alagumalai and Kandiankoil in the Pongalur taluk blocked all the four roads leading to Coimbatore, Tirupur, Kangeyam and Dharapuram.

They said that these villages were in the tail end of the district and water supply from the Board under the Pilloor scheme was always insufficient.

"The groundwater is polluted and we depend on the water supplied by the TWAD Board. It has never supplied us the agreed quantum of water and the situation turned worse for the last couple of months. The supply has become almost nil these days," they complained.

A.S. Mani, MLA, and Tirupur Revenue Divisional Officer L. Nirmal Raj rushed to the spot and held talks with the agitators.

The people accused the officials of being lethargic in supplying water. They said the authorities had failed to prevent water pilferage by some people.

Mr. Mani said that he had taken up the matter several times with the Board's higher officials, but they did not act promptly. The entire Pongalur panchayat union was suffering because of shortage in drinking water.

After negotiations, Mr. Nirmal Raj directed officials to regularise the supply in two days.

He asked the authorities to ensure proper water supply to these villages without delay. The villagers withdrew their agitation after the promise made by Mr. Nirmal Raj.

The officials cited frequent power cuts as reason for the shortage in supply as pumping of water was affected.

As there were no alternative roads near the Avanashipalayam junction, passengers and motorists suffered under the scorching sun for five hours.

The villagers threatened that they would resort to agitation if the authorities failed to keep the promise.

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