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No longer obscure, now a role model

Ponnampatti, a town panchayat situated about 60 km from Tiruchi, was a little-known town panchayat unlike Atchirupakkam, Chitlapakkam or Sriperumpudur in the State. But no longer. Ponnampatti has now become the cynosure of all eyes by bagging the prestigious ‘Best Town Panchayat’ award in the State.

The Town Panchayat officials have reasons to be elated. Ever since its Executive Officer S. Sakul Ameed received the award from Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, he has been overwhelmed by the numerous congratulatory messages. Thanks to the good solid waste management practices, green initiatives, public health initiatives, dedication of staff members and excellent cooperation of residents, Ponnampatti, which consists of nine hamlets, including Thuvarankurichi, stands as a role model for local bodies.

Out of a total 100 marks, the town panchayat scored a staggering 98 on various parameters fixed by the Commisionerate of Municipal Administration for the award. About 30 marks separated Ponnampatti and Irungur in Coimbatore district and Nambiyur in Erode district, which finished second and third.

The Ponnampatti panchayat — with a population of 12,167 — scored almost centum on garbage cleaning, source segregation, drinking water supply, street lights coverage, recycling, avoiding plastic usage, production of bio fertilizer from waste, tax collection, green initiatives, revenue generation and others.

All streets have reflective name boards for easy identification. The residents had shunned the practice of using plastic bags about two years ago since it was banned by the civic body. They invariably use cloth bags distributed by the civic body to buy grocery and vegetable items. Not many local residents except the floating population throw waste in public places.

It is a common sight to see residents wait for helmet and uniform-clad sanitary workers with their segregated domestic waste, suggesting that they were totally at ease with the practice of segregating degradable and non-degradable waste.

“We feel elated to know that our town panchayat has been awarded for best practices. When many other towns and panchayats have been facing acute water scarcity, our residents get bountiful water supply, thanks to the good management,” said M.A. Aleem, a leading neurologist.

“The streets are neat and clean,” added G. Veerabadran (72) of MGR Nagar. He is one of the residents, who follows the best solid waste management practices.

Collector K. Rajamani told The Hindu that the town panchayat had many good practices. It was a step ahead in producing organic manure from waste, garbage management, green initiatives, drinking water supply, street maintenance, revenue collection, among others.

Attributing the success to team work and active cooperation of the residents, Executive Officer Ameed said commitment and follow-up were the key to success. Each and every citizen of the town panchayat had contributed to the award.

The town panchayat has earlier received ISO 9001-2015 certified award for plastic eradication, solid waste management, nursery, gardening and production of organic manure from waste. It also bagged a award from the Collector for achieving cent per cent tax collection for 2015-16 and 2016-17.


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