A village administrative officer (VAO) was bitten by a venomous snake while patrolling along the river to keep vigil against illegal sand miners near Musiri on the outskirts of Trichy in the late hours of Wednesday. However, he is out of danger though he is still under treatment. According to the Trichy district administration, S S Nagarajan, VAO of Pillapalayam village, was on patrol duty at Vellur Chathiram near Musiri main road around 11 pm when the snake bit him. He passed on the information to his higher officials who rushed in and got him admitted to Mahatma Gandhi memorial government hospital (MGMGH). Collector K Rajamani visited Nagarajan at MGMGH on Thursday morning and inquired about his health condition with the dean, Dr G Anitha. The dean has assured proper care for him and he is out of danger now,” the collector told TOI. In the wake of the frequent theft of river sand in Cauvery, Kollidam and branch rivers, the district administration had recently intensified vigil. The collector had recently advised the officers not to go alone for the patrol due to possible attacks from the sand miners. On Thursday, the collector reiterated his advice on safety of the officers. “ I always tell the officers to take care of their personal safety while going on for patrolling,” said the collector. A senior officer involved in anti-sand mining patrolling listed out the challenges being faced by the officers at night and after dusk. “The miscreants brandish weapons to threaten the officers. So we insist that the tahsildars, revenue inspectors and VAO not risk their lives and ask them to go as a team,” said an officer.
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