PHC to become a reality for tribal village in Alleri hillock

Published - December 31, 2023 11:44 pm IST - VELLORE

Vellore Collector P. Kumaravel Pandian paying a visit to remote tribal villages in Alleri hillock in Vellore. 

Vellore Collector P. Kumaravel Pandian paying a visit to remote tribal villages in Alleri hillock in Vellore. 

Months after a 35-year-old tribal man died of snake bite as he had to be carried to hospital on foot from the Attukaalkollai hamlet in Alleri hillock, district health officials have sent a proposal to the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine seeking the setting up of a Primary Health care Centre (PHC) in the village on the outskirts of Vellore town.

Attukaalkollai village made headlines twice in the recent past over the absence of a PHC facility. On July 20, a 35-year-old man bitten by snake died while he was taken to hospital, the nearest being 17 kms away. On May 28, an 18-month-old baby girl in the hillock, too, died in a similar way due to the lack of a PHC.

“Once the Finance Committee of the State government approves the proposal, preliminary steps will be taken to construct a PHC. The official nod is expected soon,” P. Banumathi, Deputy Director of Health Services (DDHS), Vellore, told The Hindu. 

Close on the heels of the two deaths, Collector P. Kumaravel Pandian inspected Alleri, Maruthavalli, Attukaalkollai and Erikollai hamlets in the hillock and spoke to residents. Subsequently, a full-time ASHA worker was deputed in the village. 

Health officials said the residents demanded a full-fledged PHC with modern facilities. As per the plan, the new centre would have separate cabins for the duty doctor, nurses and other staff members, and a common visitors hall, separate wards for specialised treatment - especially for snake bites - laboratory facilities and a pharmacy with additional stocks.

The other features include operation theatres and at least six beds.

Adequate parking space for ambulances and other vehicles will also be provided.

The steep hillock on the eastern side of Jawadhu Hills comprises three big tribal villages, namely Peenjamanthai, Jarthankollai and Palampattu villages. Alleri tribal hamlet is part of the Peenjamanthai village panchayat, which consists of around 300 families. 

Earlier, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) five times reportedly rejected a proposal by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) for forest land for a road project at the village.

“The request was rejected on various grounds despite it being verified by the District Forest Officer (DFO), Vellore. Road-laying work in other hilly areas, on the other hand, has been carried out smoothly,” an official said on the condition of anonymity. 

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