After a government medical college hospital was established at Asaripallam near Nagercoil, Colachel residents hoped that the importance given to Kottar Government Hospital would be shifted to their GH. But Thuckalay was preferred to Colachel with a 78-year-old hospital, much to their dismay.
A resident, R. Sateesh Bharathi, who is contesting the election, said when seriously injured fishermen were brought ashore or when emergencies arose, the patients had to be rushed all the way to inland Thuckalay. The Colachel GH must be developed as a multi-speciality hospital with facilities for post mortem, surgeries and other medical care. “Since our town comes under Kalkulam taluk, we want a separate taluk so that our demands can be better represented through the tahsildar,” he said.
With Colachel Municipality having 24 wards going to polls on February 19, the residents want the new Chairman to do more. Mr. Bharathi said after the 2004-tsunami, the groundwater had become a bit salty. If AVM Channel and Paampuri Canal were linked, this problem could be rectified. Real estate sharks were transforming 70 acres of Sasthankulam Ela into housing plots. It must be stopped and agricultural operations revived.
Pananthumbu Cooperative Society of the Central government, with its State headquarters in Thoothukudi, was in disuse. Since Colachel did not have a government higher secondary school or arts college, the 4.5 acres could be better utilised by housing an educational institution there. Colachel was the only town without a college or cinema house, Mr. Bharathi said.
Another resident, Captain Johnson, said 59% of the people in the town reside in just seven wards, pointing to the skewed delimitation exercise. Though Colachel is the oldest of the four fishing harbours in Kanniyakumari district (the others are in Chinna Muttom, Muttom and Thengapattinam), the facilities are inadequate.
Though there were 225 registered boats, the infrastructure could serve only 100. Only 60 to 75 boats could be berthed at the wharf for diesel bunkering. The catch of only 20 boats could be auctioned at the hall. If it was expanded, with more catch being auctioned, the trading would be more and fishermen could get a better price for their catch. The breakwater facility must be extended on the Muttom side.
A sports stadium must be established in Colachel and AVM channel must be rejuvenated to improve groundwater, Mr. Johnson said.