Injikuzhi, 14 km beyond the Papanasam dam in the Western Ghats, which houses nine families of Kani tribes, hitherto has no electricity. Now, this place has solar power.
After these Kani tribes were identified by the Forest Department personnel even before Independence, their services were utilised for planting trees and conserving the jungle.
While a few chose to live at Injikuzhi, a good number of them moved out to settle down near Papanasam and Servalar dams, now known as Periya Mayilaar, Chinna Mayilaar, Agasthiyar and Servalar Kaani Tribal hamlets with small huts.
These tribes living near Papanasam and Servalar dams, all situated in the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve’s (KMTR) Mundanthurai area, got their houses electrified thanks to the solar power panels supplied to them 15 years ago.
Since their houses are inside the tiger sanctuary, power connection could not be given to the houses without getting mandatory clearances from the KMTR.
When V. Vishnu, Collector, who has already met the Kani tribes on several occasions when he served as the Sub-Collector, Cheranmahadevi, visited the hamlets of Kani tribes as the Collector on June 21 to gift them a mini-cargo vehicle for carrying their farm produce such as pepper, jack fruit, tapioca, lemon, honey, amla etc. from the hills to the consumers living in the plains, he promised them that he would soon make arrangements for providing power to Injikuzhi residents also.
Within a week, he fulfilled his promise by fitting solar power panels in every hut at Injikuzhi.
“The solar panels, costing ₹. 2.50 lakh, have been fitted atop the huts of Injikuzhi,” he said.