Close relatives of Nepal crash victims on their way to Kathmandu

A day after the air crash at Nepal that claimed the lives of eight leading builders of the city, the construction industry and those associated with it is yet to recover from the shock.

“All the victims changed the face of the city by introducing modern architectural techniques in the projects. They were not only involved in building activities, but also took active participation in the social activities through various forums. It will take a long time to come to terms, as all the victims are well known personalities,” a cross section of the city residents observed.

Even as close relatives, one each from the victims' families, left for Kathmandu via New Delhi from Chennai this morning to identify and bring the bodies here after completing the official procedures, various associations connected with the building industry held a meeting in the city to discuss the arrangements for the final rites.

M. Anand (son of the victim M.V. Maruthachalam); T. Sethuraman (brother of T. Dhanasekaran); K. Palanikumar (son of A.K. Krishnan); M.V.G. Jawagar (friend of M. Manimaran); Vijay Anand (son of V.N. Kanakasabesan); M. Ramkumar (son of Kattur Mahalingam); C.T. Annamalai (relative of Meenakshi Sundaram); Jothi Mahalingam (brother of G. Thiagarajan) have left for Kathmandu.

Two more – B. Senthilkumar, secretary, Flat Promoters Association and R. Subramani of the BAI, Tiruchi, have also accompanied the team to Kathmandu, according to sources of the Tiruchi Centre of the Builders Association of India (BAI).

The bodies are expected to arrive in Chennai on Tuesday night after completion of formalities in the Nepalese capital. They are expected to be brought here from Chennai by road immediately, the sources added.

It was decided at the meeting to keep the bodies at the National College Higher Secondary School ground at Chinthamani in the city for a couple hours on Wednesday morning to enable the residents pay their last respects.

Later, they will be taken to the houses of the respective victims for final rites, the source said. The BAI has formed special teams for this purpose.

Representatives of the BAI, Institution of Valuers, Flat Promoters Association, Tiruchi Travel Federation, Indian Institute of Architects, Confederation of Indian Industry and other associations participated in the meeting.

Meanwhile, relatives and people from various walks of life continue to pour in at the residences of the victims to console them since Sunday. Various Associations have expressed shock at the tragedy and the loss of the leading builders of the district.

The Tamil Nadu Construction Workers Union, affiliated to the AITUC, expressed grief over the incident. In a press release its district secretary K. Suresh recalled the selfless services of the victims. He specifically referred to their fight in the cause of construction workers during the struggle when the prices of building materials registered a steep hike in the recent past.

Mr. Suresh also recalled their gesture by deputing a representative from the BAI for the Union's State convention held recently.

These architects played a crucial role in generating employment opportunities on a sustained basis to the construction workers, he said describing their demise as an irreparable loss.

In a similar condolence message, C. Balasubramanian, president of the Tiruchi district Exnora, has expressed shock at the tragedy.