Abhijit Dev Kumar
Debris yet to be cleared from building, even as owner awaits compensation
Hyderabad: For two weeks now, L. Ramesh has not had a good night's sleep. The owner of the ill-fated building, where one of Navy's Sagar Pawan aircraft crashed on March 3, has been running from pillar to post to get officials to start removing debris from the site.
The incident continues to haunt him as ever, since his own building has been off limits to him. He and his family have been living with his relatives, returning to the house once in a while to pick up clothes and other essentials. “It's been nearly a fortnight and no one is able to tell me when I can take possession of my house or when the investigations will be completed. I have approached every person in power for help. Yet there has been no trace of any assistance or compensation from any department. I hope they do something soon,” bemoans Mr. Ramesh.
The 60-year-old employee is also not sure if he can continue to live in the house once investigations are completed or whether he will have to demolish the entire structure. With remains of the craft still buried under the debris, residents nearby have been complaining of foul smell, suspecting some charred remains of the pilots killed could be present at the site.
“We have to put up with this nauseating reek and many vegetable vendors have been avoiding coming here,” complains a resident. To add to Mr. Ramesh's misery, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) has confirmed that the building was an unauthorised construction.
SCB Chief Executive Officer C. Ravindra says that cleaning operations can only be taken up after the Navy's clearance. He points out that a three-member Board of Inquiry (BOI) constituted to conduct a detailed investigation is yet to submit its report. “We will start our work only after we get the BOI report,” he adds. For Mr. Ramesh, it looks like a long wait.