Coimbatore

Motor room at tribal settlement lying in disuse for 17 years without power

With no power connection to the motor room, the tribal people were using a hand pump to draw water at Ramaranai tribal settlement in Talamalai Panchayat in Erode.   | Photo Credit: M. GOVARTHAN

An overhead water tank and a motor room that were constructed 17 years ago at Ramaranai tribal settlement in Talamalai Panchayat were lying idle in all these years as the settlement is yet to get power connection.

Located one km. away from Talamalai – Dhimbam forest road, the settlement is nested inside the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) where 20 families comprising 90 members were residing. “We were using kerosene lamps during night hours in all these years”, said Almadhan (72), the senior most person in the settlement, who first saw electric bulbs lighted up in the settlement when automatic solar lighting systems were installed in 2018. But the system helps in lighting only two bulbs in each house and all electronic gadgets like television and radios were lying idle, he added.

The panchayat had in 2003-04 constructed the tank and a motor room at a cost of ₹ 10 lakh. However, in the absence of power connection to the settlement, the tank and the motor room, remain unused. People said that they had deposited money for electricity connection in 2003, but later, the electricity board had returned their money claiming that the forest department had refused permission for installing electric poles and giving power connection,” said K. Raman of the settlement.

A hand-pump helps them to draw water and fulfil their needs, which people say is inadequate.

The hamlet has no anganwadi centre and children are directly admitted to the school-cum-hostel at Talamalai which is located five km away.

“We have to walk for one km. to reach the bus stop and board the bus to Talamalai which is difficult for the children”, said K. Ramesh, who wanted a tar-topped road, anganwadi centre and power connection to the village.

Recently, Tangedco officials had submitted a proposal to the forest department for installing electric poles from Talamalai to the settlement while the details for giving house service connections are yet to be submitted.

Sources in the Forest Department said that if the required land for the project is less than one hectare, District Forest Officer, Hasanur Division, can give permission, while if it is more than one hectare, permission has to be obtained from the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 6:08:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/motor-room-at-tribal-settlement-lying-in-disuse-for-17-years-without-power/article32912367.ece

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