It has now come to light that the two-storied building that collapsed in Checkanurani, Madurai, on July 5 killing four construction workers, did not have authorisation for a second floor. The probe has revealed that documents were forged for the construction a second floor.
Usilampatti DSP Raja who was investigating the case tells TNM that when they went through the site plans, certain discrepancies in it led them to discuss with the Panchayat officials. “We found out that the owner had approval only for the first floor. We then discussed further with Panchayat officials,” he says.
Speaking to TNM, Panchayat Assistant Director Selvaraj who lead a team to investigate the documents further found out that Kokulam Panchayat Secretary Kasimayan flouted rules to forge documents. “We found out that he did not take it to his higher officials. The approval should have come from the Block Development Officers. But he seems to have forged their signatures,” he says.
As a first step, Kasimayan has been suspended from his post with immediate effect. “We are investigating further. We will proceed based on instructions from the Collector,” he adds.
The sudden building collapse at Pasumpon Street in Checkanurani on July 5 caused commotion in the area. While 45-year-old A Kasinathan was found dead the same day, two others, Kasinathan’s son 21-year-old K Arunkumar and 37-year-old Balamurugan aka Balu, were found on Sunday. Fire and Rescue services along with police and revenue officers rushed to the spot to begin rescue operations that lasted for several hours.
One other worker, Muthupandi, succumbed to his injuries three days later on July 8.
A total of seven labourers, all from surrounding villages, were working on the newly elevated second floor of the proposed residential building. 43-year-old M Madhavan, the building’s owner, was arrested the very next day.