Deserted by officials, locals close to demolished flats can’t breathe easy


Irate residents demand Municipal Chairperson’s intervention

While the hubbub around the implosion itself dies down, residents in the vicinity of H2O Holy Faith are aggrieved at the dust that has engulfed the area and is likely to worsen when the rubble begins to be removed. They alleged that the authorities had done little to help them deal with the aftermath of the implosion.

“Every time a vehicle drives past or a gust of wind blows, the dust rises again. We cannot leave windows or doors open any more, or even step outside,” said Sicily Antony, whose house was within the 200-metre evacuation zone marked out for the demolition. The house, along with two others close to the flat, is still covered with plastic sheets to keep the dust out. Worried that the dust could exacerbate their breathing troubles, her little grandchildren would live away from the area for a few days.

A fire engine had hosed down the service road leading up to the apartment on Saturday evening, but that did little to keep the dust down, said Babu Joseph, who resorted to pouring buckets of water on the road himself on Sunday morning. “Now that the implosion is over, it looks like we are left to fend for ourselves. The municipality is not doing much to help,” he said.

Maradu Municipal Chairperson T.H. Nadeera said considering its limitations, the local body was doing as much as it could to help the residents. “We have arranged for water tankers to wet the road, but we are unsure of how long we can continue with that. When the debris is lifted from the area, the dust is only likely to increase,” she added.

When a heavy vehicle was stationed near the apartment site on Sunday, residents feared that rubble would be moved without any arrangements to deal with the dust, said Raju N.A., who lives in the neighbourhood. Irate residents met Ms. Nadeera on Sunday evening, demanding the municipality’s intervention, and they were assured that a fire engine would be sent. Apart from a portion of the metal sheet surrounding H2O Holy Faith falling backwards onto Dr. J.T. Pappanacherry’s compound wall right behind the building, none of the other buildings in the area suffered any damage.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 10:20:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/deserted-by-officials-locals-close-to-demolished-flats-cant-breathe-easy/article30553051.ece

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