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Protest against move to bifurcate Elathur panchayat

By Our Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE, DEC. 26. The draft proposal for the bifurcation of Elathur grama panchayat prepared by the panchayat secretary has evoked strong protests.

At its last meeting, the members of the grama panchayat committee had condemned the proposal. It was pointed out that the bifurcation of a panchayat was needed only when its population exceeds 50,000.

However, the population of the Elathur panchayat is only 41,360.

It was alleged that the move to divide the panchayat was politically motivated.

The panchayat president Panoor Thankam has said that the panchayat is spread over an area of only 13.58 sq.km. Of this area, very little is available for habitation as a major portion of the area has been taken up by National Highway, State highway, rivers and Indian Railways.

Expenditure

Ms. Thankam added that the panchayat's annual revenue was hardly Rs.26 lakhs. Since the administrative expenditure of any panchayat would amount to about Rs.18 lakhs, bifurcation of the panchayat would not be financially viable.

"A division will wreck the panchayat," Ms. Thankam said. She urged the government to drop the proposal. The order to prepare a draft plan to divide the panchayat was prepared under the directive of the Director of Panchayat.

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