Finally, Chathurangapara Village Office in Idukki will be shifted out of forest

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The old (left) and new buildings of the Chathurangapara Village Office. Photos: Special arrangement

Idukki: After a prolonged wait, the Chathurangapara village office in Idukki, which had been functioning in an old building inside a cardamom grove under the constant threat of wild animals, will be shifted to Udumbanchola Town.

The construction of the new building in the town was completed in January, but due to delay over the inauguration, the public and officials continued to use the old office, where spotting wild elephants was not uncommon.

On Monday, revenue minister K Rajan is expected to virtually inaugurate 11 village offices in the state, including two at Udumbanchola. Once inaugurated, years of struggles endured by the villagers and the officials will be over officially.

At present, getting to the old village office is no easy task. For the public, it means shelling out Rs 100 in auto-rickshaw fare. The expense would go up if a villager had to head back to the town to get a photocopy of a document.

For the officials, keeping themselves safe from wild elephants, snakes and leeches posed a different challenge.

According to a source, officials were so eager to move into the new building that they even paid for the electricity connection.

The new office at Udumbanchola does not have a water connection yet; the officials are hoping to arrange it themselves to avoid further delay in the inauguration.

A source at the revenue department said multiple reminders were sent to the district collector to speed up the inauguration. But it was delayed as the authorities had planned to inaugurate 11 new village offices on the same day.

District collector Sheeba George said the amount spent by the officials on amenities will be reimbursed.

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