Compound wall poses danger, say residents of Tirupur dalit colony
TIRUPUR: Close on the heels of the Mettupalayam accident, where a massive compound wall collapsed killing 17 people, residents of a dalit colony in Tirupur district have raised objections to a similar wall in their locality.
Revenue department officials, who conducted an inspection after public complained that the wall around a vacant land was posing a threat, said they would submit a report.
The wall, similar to the one at Nadoor village in Mettupalayam, is close to the row of houses in Adi Dravidar Colony in Alampalayam near Thekkalur in the district. More than 70 families stay in the colony.
A villager, who owns a piece of land adjacent to the houses had erected the wall.
A resident, who did not want to be named fearing backlash, said that their apprehension over stability of the wall has increased after the Nadoor incident. “We were told that the wall was constructed to stop people enter the land for open defecation. But the height of the wall was unwarranted. Now, we are scared of its stability,’’ he told TOI.
The wall is about 13ft high and is built for a length of 300ft along the colony. “Many residents feel that it was built only to demarcate the dalit colony from the rest of the houses in the locality. The residents had raised concerns about the wall in the past. Now, they are even more scared,” said A Karthikeyan of Makkal Athikaram. “I had sent a complaint in the official WhatsApp number to the district administration.”
District secretary of CPM’s Theendamai Olippu Munnani S Nandagopal, however, said he could not come to a conclusion whether the wall was discriminatory in nature. “Our team visited the spot on Friday. We couldn’t say for sure that the wall was built to discriminate against the dalits. But the question of structural stability is there and because of that there is fear among dalits. Authorities should ensure that the wall is safe,” he said.
Avinashi tahsildar Shanthi visited the village as directed by Tirupur collector K Vijayakarthikeyan. “We are conducting an inquiry into the issue. Once we complete the probe, we will send a report to the collector,” she said.