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Villagers for keeping the liquor shop at a distance

Shastry V. Mallady



KNOWING FIRST-HAND: Collector T. Udhayachandran (right) in discussion with villagers at the gram sabha meeting at Vadapalanji village on Tuesday. — PHOTO: S. JAMES

MADURAI: The location of a wine shop in the village and the `nuisance' it caused to women and children figured in the proceedings of a gram sabha meeting held on Tuesday at the Vadapalanji panchayat, near here.

Though several other development issues were raised in the hour-long meeting, the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) retail outlet selling Indian-made foreign liquor was the main issue raised by women who called for intervention of the Collector, T. Udhayachandran, to `relocate' the shop away from the village, which is near Madurai Kamaraj University.

The Collector, who chaired the meeting, announced that the shop would be re-located in consultation with villagers.

"We are talking about development. But first, the wine shop should not be on the main street of our village. It is affecting our families, children in particular, and moreover people frequenting it are causing nuisance till midnight," said a woman belonging to a self-help group.

It was the first issue to be raised at the meeting, receiving support from many villagers, including the men.

For the Vadapalanji panchayat in the Tirupparankundram panchayat union, the gram sabha meeting turned out to be a bounty as it succeeded in getting sanction for several new development initiatives on the spot.

As financial accounts were submitted to villagers in the presence of panchayat president N. Thanikodi and panchayat union chairman Muniyandi, the discussion revolved around immediate requirements of the area.

Bounty for Vadapalanji

The Collector announced that Vadapalanji would soon get a developed playground for the children/youth, a health centre for men, loan facility for members of self-help groups, adequate water for farming and more city bus services, among other things.

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