50 out of 65 families that reside at the Sembukkarai settlement saw a bulb light up for the first time in their homes.

Better late than never TN tribal settlement finally gets electricity for first time since independence
news Infrastructure Sunday, June 18, 2017 - 18:11
70 years after India declared independence, a tribal village in Coimbatore district is finally getting electricity. On Saturday, 50 out of 65 families that reside at the Sembukkarai settlement saw a bulb light up for the first time in their homes. 

TANGEDCO was directed to supply electricity to two settlements--Sembukkarai and Thoomanur. A proposal to bring electricity to the area was submitted to the Government four years ago, according to legislator VC Arukutty, within whose Kavundampalayam constituency the settlements fall. But work was finally initiated only in January this year. There are 200 households in both these settlements but currently only one fourth of the houses here have received power. Ironically over these last few years, the residents have received free mixies, televisions, fans and table top grinders, none of which they could use.

The reason for the delay, according to the legislator is the hilly terrain that made the prospect of erecting poles challenging, the constant movement of wild elephants in the area and the lax attitude of the officers in charge of the project. "But we kept pressurising them to get it done. In February however, after I declared that I support OPS, things got even more difficult and it took a lot of effort to even electrify these 50 houses," says the MLA, who spoke to The News Minute. 
 
When tribals said they could not afford to pay the Rs 3,200 deposit for each household's connection, it was Arukutty who footed the bill. 

According to reports, the erection of 147 electric poles for a distance of 6.5 km from Mangarai, the nearest electrified village, to the Sembukkarai settlement last month is complete. Further work, which requires setting up 40 poles from Sembukkarai to Thoomanur, which is about 3.5 km further uphill, will be completed in a month. The total project could cost upto Rs 85 lakh.

"We were living in thatched houses with no electricity and roads for a long time now. But after MLA Arukutty came to power, we are seeing changes," says Kanamma, a resident of Sembukkarai. "With electricity now introduced in the village we are hoping that development here is finally underway," she adds.

(With inputs from Sudhakar)

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.