“My son who was my hope, my pillar, he is no more. Let his death at least make things better and save others people's lives,” Lalan, the father of a young man who lost his life in Kochi on Thursday.
23-year-old Yadhulal died on Thursday when he lost his balance because of a pothole, fell onto the road and came under a lorry passing by near Palarivattom Metro Station in Kochi. The death of the young man had created an uproar among the residents of Kochi as this was also not the first such tragic incident in the city.
The Kerala High Court on Friday reacted to the death and apologised to the family of the deceased youth. While hearing a writ petition filed by a Palarivattom resident following the death of Yadhulal, Justice Devan Ramachandran said that “the court apologises to the family of the young man on behalf of the society".
Speaking to media following the Kerala High Court’s reaction, Yadhulal’s father said that he is happy with the judge's statement. “Now many potholes will be filled up. But I lost my son. Let this at least pave the way to save lives of other people,” said Lalan.
Yadhulal is survived by his mother who is a cancer patient, his father who works as a tailor and a younger brother.
The High Court also came down heavily on the state government asking how many lives have to be lost in order for the roads to be repaired. The HC has repeatedly in the past criticised the government and local body for the pathetic condition of roads in Kochi. Though directions were given by the District Collector from time to time, lack of coordination between departments have left things in a limbo.
Meanwhile, the government told the court that Yadhulal’s family will be given Rs 10 lakh as compensation.
Four officials of Public Works Department, meanwhile, have been suspended by the government.
Following the accident, residents in the area had came out alleging that the road near Palarivattom Metro Station at the Edapally-Palarivattom Road was dug up by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) as part of its works. The hole had been lying open without being filled up for almost eight months now. KWA has, however, passed the buck stating that further works could not be done as they did not get the permission from the Public Works Department (PWD) despite repeated requests.
It is following this that the Minister for Public Works, G Sudhakaran announced the suspension of four PWD officials. The Minister also said the PWD had delayed in filling the pothole.
Sub-section Assistant Executive Engineer Susan Solomon Thomas, section Assistant Engineer KN Surjith, maintenance wing Assistant Executive Engineer EP Sainaba and maintenance wing Assistant Engineer Deepa TK, have been suspended.
Minister also added that PWD Deputy Chief Engineer (Vigilance) has been asked to conduct a detailed probe in the matter.