Washermen’s families heave a sigh of relief

Years of protest and pleas are paying off for the 13 families of washermen, who had been living in a dilapidated school building at West Hill for the past seven years. Their protests on Women’s Day highlighting the lack of toilet facilities as well as some direct appeals to the Corporation authorities fell on right ears. The Corporation has set aside Rs.1.3 crore for the renovation of the building and the toilets so that they could stay there for another year by which the construction of the apartment the Corporation has promised them will be completed.

The toilets have already been renovated and the shrubbery surrounding them has been cleared. This has put an end to one of the most serious problems they faced.

However, the rest remains the same. The building’s roof was partially repaired last week but the work has been abandoned since then, said U. Saravanan, president of the Washermen’s Union, which has been spearheading the protests under the banner of the Asangatitha Meghala Thozhilali Union (AMTU). The Mayor had earlier assured them that the leakage and wiring problems would be dealt with as soon as possible. “But the work is not progressing,” he said.

The13 families were evicted from Muthalakkulam in the name of road widening in 1995. They were temporarily accommodated at Kalluthankadavu where the Corporation had promised them separate homes.

They were relocated to the single rooms of the abandoned building of the U.P. school at West Hill to start the construction of an apartment at Kalluthankadavu seven years ago. But the construction was delayed due to administrative issues.

Now, 21 years after they were evicted, the construction of the apartment promised to them is about to start at Kalluthankadavu.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 9:53:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/washermens-families-heave-a-sigh-of-relief/article8416163.ece

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