Coimbatore

Kin of wall collapse victims recall tragedy

K. Kamalammal   | Photo Credit: M_PERIASAMY

Seventy-year-old K. Kamalammal broke down on the verandah of her daughter’s rented house at A.D. Colony at Nadur near Mettupalayam on Wednesday as she recalled the dreadful morning of December 2, 2019.

Seven persons from her close-knit family were killed when a weak compound wall separating the colony from the property of a textile showroom owner collapsed on a few thatched houses in the early hours of the day.

Kamalammal’s son Anandh Kumar (40), his wife Nathiya (30) their children Akshaya (7) and Loguram (7); her another son’s wife Arukkani (50), children Harisudha (16) and Mahalakshmi (10) were killed in the wall collapse.

“I was off to my eldest daughter Marathal’s house in Tiruppur. We received a call about the incident early in the morning and all of us were shell-shocked” recalled Mr. Kamalammal.

According to her, she was granted a single solatium for the death of her son.

“I was told by officials that the compensation could be given for the death of my son and not for that of my daughters-in-law or grandchildren. Similarly, authorities told me that suitable jobs could be granted for other surviving members of the family who are now struggling to live. I am also not sure if the Government is prepared to allot a house as promised,” she said.

The woman had also petitioned the District Collector seeking allocation of the compensation for the six other deceased from her family.

Following the wall collapse, a total sum of ₹ 12 lakh -- ₹10 lakh from State and ₹2 lakh from the Centre -- was announced as compensation for the victims. The State Government had also promised new houses and suitable jobs.

Pratap Kumar, who lost his mother, sister, grandmother and two cousins in the wall collapse, said he was given the job of 'Thandakarar' but he could not take it up as he studied only up to eighth standard. “Now I am going for painting work”, he said.

“There is no clarity about the allocation of new houses,” said Mr. Kumar’s paternal uncle A. Selvaraj whose son and daughter were killed in the tragedy.

Officials with the Revenue Department said that a housing project was nearing completion on Sirumugai Road where new houses would be allotted to eligible survivors of the victims.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 7:24:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/kin-of-wall-collapse-victims-recall-tragedy/article33234870.ece

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