“We got really tired after a long wait for the Ketty Panchayat to repair the 1 km stretch leading to our settlement from Bikkatty junction in Coonoor. Finally, we thought enough was enough and took up repair works ourselves. What else could we do if the local body fails?” asked Puttan, a villager.
Deep potholes on the stretch, which was heavily damaged several years ago, impede movement of vehicles. Even two-wheelers can’t travel on the stretch, the residents claimed. This makes life miserable for villagers as they have to take a painstaking walk on the pothole-riddled route to reach their settlement. Students also face hardship, particularly during rains. It is worse when someone falls sick in Attukollai as they need to be carried to the main road to reach a hospital. Finally, the residents plunged into action, ending their long wait, after daily wager Bharat, 40, who was unable to walk due to a leg injury, was carried on a chair on Thursday. He was taken to the Coonoor Road and then proceeded to the Ooty Government Hospital.
Faced with criticism, the Ketti Panchayat officials said Rs 16 lakh has been sanctioned for the road work and promised to commence the works soon. However, the villagers are in no mood to relent and are continuing with their work.