Following the country’s worst economic crisis, many development projects, particularly road development initiatives, which were approved or under implementation across the country were halted or abandoned by contractors on multiple grounds, making it difficult for the public to even access a decent road to carry out their daily activities.
The cash-strapped government also temporarily halted such projects to tighten the budget deficit.
In a village in Meesalai North, Chavakachcheri, residents are fed up with taking up the issue of renovating Thattankulam Road, their main access road, which is covered by two Grama Sevaka divisions. With the authorities taking little or no action on their pleas over the past 18 years, the residents came up with a final solution, hoping that this time the authorities would listen. Each family residing on the street came forward to donate their one-day salary, or Rs 1000 per head. They collected around Rs 100,000 and sent it to the Northern Province Governor’s official bank account, telling him in a petition that it was their contribution to the road development work.
In their petition, the villagers pointed out that several hundred people, including students, used the road, which is located near the A9 road, daily and requested the Governor’s Office to look into the issue urgently as their main access road had not been renovated for more than 18 years, despite various assurances given by authorities and local politicians.
A daily labourer who is residing on the street said: “We are sick and tired of requesting authorities to renovate this road, but since the government is also financially struggling, just like us, we thought of pooling money among ourselves to extend a helping hand since that is the only way left for us.”