The Mangalore Air Crash Victims’ Association will continue to pursue with the demand for construction of a memorial, a community hall and a public library in memory of the 158 victims of Air India Express flight crash on May 22, 2010.
Association president Mohammad Beary said some “technical issues” are coming in the way of the memorial. While the crash site is a private property, the place (on the banks of Phalguni River near Kuloor Bridge) where unidentified victims were buried belongs to the New Mangalore Port Trust. “Some how the memorial should come up,” Mr. Beary said, and added, “We feel sad to see trucks moving close to the place where they were buried. It’s akin to showing disrespect to victims of air crash,” Mr. Beary said.
Mr. Beary said a meeting of the office bearers of the association will be held on Wednesday. A letter will then be sent to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and also Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. “We hope the new government will take some steps,” he said.
An official from Air India Express said proposal for building community hall and the library was being considered. “A decision is yet to be taken,” the official said, and added that building memorial will be subject to clearance of land.
The Air India Express official said full and final settlement of compensation has been arrived in relation to 130 persons. Compensation regarding the remaining 28 victims will be subject to decision of the Supreme Court. An advocate, who is pursuing cases of the victims, said two special leave petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court seeking Rs. 75 lakh as the minimum compensation for each of the victim.
There is no indication or sign at the air crash site or on the banks of River Phalguni near Kulur bridge where 12 unidentified victims were buried. A frame of the plaque laid at the crash site has been removed following widening and concreting of the road that leads to Adyapady village. A cement platform that held the frame — covered in a pile of mud on the roadside — is the only indication of the crash site.
The burial site is unrecognisable and is covered by shrubs and two well-grown trees. Close to the site of the burial, sand is being extracted in two places. Road skirting along the graves leads to these sand extraction sites.