A life in darkness on Kavalkaran Street

Most houses on Kavalkaran Street in Woraiyur, predominantly consisting of families of grinding stone makers, are yet to get electricity connection.

The homes are tile-roofed and were constructed in 1984, but since then there has been no development or maintenance of the area.

In close vicinity to the famous Vekkaliamman Temple in Woraiyur lies Kavalkaran street, where around 12 families of grinding stone makers reside. Their homes are old and dilapidated, with no electricity or even a drainage canal for wastewater to flow. The residents, including at least 10 children, depend on streetlights.

Speaking to The Hindu, D. Kathaee, an old woman whose family has lived in the colony for generations, said they were shifted to the present location after one of their members died in an accident. “We stayed along the roadside near Woraiyur police station. One night, a man was run over following which the then Collector gave us this land and shifted us here," she said.

The residents lived in the area until 1984 when the then Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran sanctioned constructed houses for them. “The homes had pattas and other necessary documents. However, the then Collector said he would be the custodian of the property titles as he was worried the men would pawn it for alcohol,” Kathaee said.

In 2009, some maintenance work was done at some houses in the colony. However, there is still no access to electricity. The residents approached officials of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, who, on their part, refused to provide connections to houses without pattas.

S. Suppamma, another resident, said the suffering families submitted a petition to the Collector a few weeks ago. Due to lack of facilities, around four families vacated the area. The ones who remained did not have the resources to move. “We are planning a protest if action is not taken,” she said.

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