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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Tamil Nadu: ‘Caste wall’ blocking SC colony demolished in Coimbatore 

More than 120 scheduled caste families in Kondasamy Nagar were forced to take a detour from the Pannimadai main road to reach their houses after a realtor built a gated community with a 300m long wall to hide the view of Arunthathiyar settlement. 

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: August 2, 2021 3:31:04 pm
forced to take a detour from the Pannimadai main road to reach their houses after a realtor built a gated community | Express photo

The district administration has demolished a 10-foot-tall wall constructed by a realtor to create a gated community and thus blocking the path to a colony of Arunthathiyar community at Pannimadai on the outskirts of Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu.

More than 120 scheduled caste families living in Kondasamy Nagar were reportedly forced to take a detour from the Pannimadai main road to reach their houses after a realtor built a gated community at nearby Kannabiran Nagar with a 300-metre-long wall to hide the view of the Arunthathiyar settlement. They alleged that the construction was akin to a caste wall and despite repeated requests to panchayat officials no action had been taken for the last seven years.

On Saturday, members of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam approached the Coimbatore district revenue officer PS Leela Alex at the collectorate to intervene and take necessary action | Express photo

On Saturday, members of the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK) staged protests along with the residents. Later they approached the Coimbatore district revenue officer PS Leela Alex at the collectorate to intervene and take necessary action.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, K Ramakrishnan, the general secretary of TPDK, said the district officials demolished the wall at two places to provide a pathway to the public and have further assured to lower down the height of the wall from 10 feet.

“The district officials demolished the wall at two places to provide a pathway to the public and have further assured to lower down the height of the wall from 10 feet” | Express photo

“The construction had been in place for several years. The residents had been struggling for all these years. During the previous AIADMK regime, no action was taken and now they are provided relief. Though the wall had been constructed within the realtor’s premises, it blocked the common pathway which belongs to the panchayat. Also, the wall which was supposed to be built at a height of four feet only was built at a height of 10 feet,” he said.

In 2019, 17 members of a Dalit community were killed after a 20-foot tall wall built to keep a private property away from the vicinity of the SC colony collapsed during the rains in Nadur village near Mettupalayam and the incident led to a huge uproar in Tamil Nadu.

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