Coimbatore

Mettupalayam deaths: Congress calls it man-made disaster, demands action against officials

All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary Sanjay Dutt, who is in-charge of Tamil Nadu

All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary Sanjay Dutt, who is in-charge of Tamil Nadu   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

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Sanjay Dutt of the Congress said the government could have prevented the disaster if it had acted when residents of Nadur complained about the wall

The death of 17 persons in Mettupalayam on Monday was a “man-made disaster”. The “sleeping AIADMK government” did not wake up to it when residents had complained about the wall, All India Congress Committee Secretary in-charge for Tamil Nadu Sanjay Dutt, told journalists in Mettupalayam on Wednesday.

The residents died while asleep, as three houses collapsed after a compound wall fell on them in Nadur village, following rains.

“It is very clear that the AIADMK government could have prevented the disaster had it acted on the Nadur residents’ complaint. But the government that wakes up from slumber after such occurrences did not act on the complaint. Therefore, it is a man-made disaster.”

For having failed to act in time, cases should be registered against the errant officials, Mr. Dutt said, adding, “If the officials are also booked for their negligence it would act as a deterrent and prevent the recurrence of such incidents.”

Mr. Dutt slammed Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam saying their visiting the site of tragedy was more a “photo opportunity”. The government, it appeared, had taken the issue lightly because it asked the Opposition that was asking questions to not politicise the issue.

As the party in power, the AIADMK, was responsible and therefore should be held accountable. “I demand action against the local minister as well because he does not seem to be having a grip over the administration.”

Mr. Dutt added that the government and district administration must provide temporary accommodation to the surviving family members, construct within a specific period, the houses as promised, and give solatium at the earliest.

The ₹10 lakh that the Chief Minister had announced was inadequate and it should be enhanced to ₹25 lakh. Likewise, the government should also give jobs to the kin of those killed and again, within a specific time, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 8:57:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/mettupalayam-deaths-congress-calls-it-man-made-disaster-demands-action-against-officials/article30158305.ece

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