The Adivasi village of Thoomanur, was jubiliant as it was electrified for the first time, with two households and a government school receiving electricity connections.
The officials started providing power from 6 PM on Monday, which was inaugurated by legislator VC Arukutty.
A ceremony was held to commemorate the event, which saw Arukutty, officials from the forest department and the electricity board officials in attendance. It was celebrated with pomp and gaiety, and saw the MLA (who is a dancer) dance with the villagers, and the forest board official joined in as well.
Since the area is situated in a hilly terrain, 80 electric poles at the cost of Rs 40 lakh were finally constructed. The proposal had been pending for a long time.
This was the first time that over 200 people, belonging to about 50 families, will be able to use mixer grinders, fans, television sets and other freebies that had been given to them by the TN government.
The Panchayat Union Middle School, a government school located in Thoomanur, has five classrooms and has students up to Class 8. The school has been intermittently powered by solar energy, and were also facing water troubles till a bore was installed there five months ago. The students still struggled for power as the solar power wouldn’t always keep the school going.
“We are very happy. The people at that place are seeing electricity for the first time. People who live below (Coimbatore), struggle without electricity, even when it is for 10 minutes. It’s great that the kids have finally got electricity. They finally get to experience Deepavali,” said Shanmuga Sundaram, the headmaster of the school.
The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation was supposed to supply electricity to two villages – Sembukkarai and Thoomanur. A proposal to bring electricity to the area was submitted to the Government four years ago, according to Arukutty, within whose Kavundampalayam constituency the settlements fall.
Sembukkarai, six kilometres away from Thoomanur, was electrified as late as June this year. There was no road connecting the two before this. The primary occupation of the village is agriculture.
(With inputs from Sudhakar)