In a first such initiative in the state, a total of 17,548 residents of hill areas in the Jawadhu Hills, Thandarampattu and Chengam panchayat unions will get essential commodities at their doorstep from Tuesday next week. The district administration has purchased four lorries of supplies for this purpose.
The initiative was taken after an interaction of Collector KS Kandasamy with a tribal woman while reviewing official work in Jawadhu hills a couple of days ago. The woman unaware that she was talking to the district head said she could not attend work for two days in a month as she had to trek nearly 7 km to reach the ration shop to purchase essentials. The average distance from the main shop to remote villages was around 9 km, cooperative officials said. And as the terrain was hilly, it needed a day for a card holder to come to the ration shops and return, they added.
“It was this that gave us the idea of using lorries to provide commodities in villages to save people specially, women from trekking long distances. Also all the three panchayat unions have tribal areas and hence the move to make their life a little comfortable,” Kandasamy said.
The lorries will carry essential commodities along with a salesman and POS (point of sale) machine for billing, officials said. The vehicles when not in use will be parked in the cooperative society in the respective blocks, they added.
“While 6,168 and 3,800 residents of 15 and 13 villages in Nimmiampattu and Jamunamarudur respectively will benefit by the mobile shops in Jawadhu hills PU, another 3,800 and 4,480 beneficiaries attached to 12 and 15 shops in Chengam and Thandarampattu PUs respectively will enjoy similar benefits,” Kandasamy said.