KOCHI: Sixty-six-year-old Madhavan sat inconsolable in front of his house at Eroor, breaking down several times while recalling the tragedy that struck his son. Vishnu Madhavan, 28, the sole breadwinner of the family, died after the motorcycle on which he and his friend were travelling fell into a ditch at Anthakarathodu in Tripunithura where a bridge is being constructed.
There was no signboard at the construction site, allegedly causing the fatal accident in the early hours of Friday. Vishnu’s friend Adharsh, 28, who was riding the motorcycle, suffered severe spinal injury and is undergoing treatment at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
Madhavan said the sheer negligence of authorities claimed his son’s life and such a tragedy should not happen to anyone. “He left the house around 8pm on Thursday, saying he was going to attend a function at his friend’s house at Puthiyakavu. However, by 3am one of our neighbours informed us that he had met with an accident and police took him to a hospital in Tripunithura. When we contacted our relatives, they said he was only injured. By evening, he was brought in an ambulance,” said Madhavan.
Deepesh, a neighbour, said Vishnu and Adarsh were unaware of the construction of the bridge on the route as they were not familiar with the area. “No barricade was placed on the road to prevent entry to the bridge site,” he said.
Vishnu was looking after his parents — Madhavan and mother Thilothama, 60 — with the money he earned from aluminium fabrication work. He also did temporary loading work at the Bharat Petroleum Corporation plant in Irumpanam. The tragedy occurred when Vishnu was all set to join BPCL as he was hired again after a short break.
Bridge construction site has turned into a death trap, say local residents
Reji, who lives near the accident spot, said the work on the bridge over Anthakarathodu had started in January and is moving at a snail’s pace. “The construction of the Kochi Metro station which began at the same time has been completed. Even after six months, the work on the bridge has not reached anywhere. Now the site has turned into a death trap,” he said.
Hearing the demise of Vishnu, Thilothama collapsed and is now undergoing treatment after her blood pressure shot up. “Vishnu used to return to his house by 8pm every day. He gave his earnings to his mother every week. After passing Plus II he got admission for BCom. However, he chose to pursue a lift technician course from an institute in Kochi.
He got a job in Chennai but we did not allow him to go as we could not live without him. I am unable to do any job as I am suffering from several illnesses such as poor vision, asthma and back pain. My wife is a daily wage labourer. With his earnings, the house was renovated. He bought the motorcycle only eight months back,” said Madhavan. Vishnu’s sister Geethu got married 12 years ago and lives in Udayamperoor.
Public Works Minister vows strict action
T’Puram: Four PWD officials were suspended on Sunday pending inquiry in connection with the incident in which a youth died at the construction site of a bridge in Tripunithura. Works Minister P A Mohammed Riyas said that if there was any negligence on the part of the contractors, the officials should have corrected it.
The suspended officers are the executive engineer (bridge division), assistant executive engineer, assistant engineer and overseer, who are in charge of the work. The minister said that strict action would be taken in the incident.
“The danger sign board should be erected in visible places rather than inside bushes. The preliminary inquiry has revealed that there is a serious lapse on the part of the officials. The work on the bridge will be monitored closely from now on to avoid such dangers, the minister said.
4 officials suspended
T’Puram: Four officials of the the Public Works Department (PWD) were suspended on Sunday pending inquiry in connection with the incident. Meanwhile, the Hill Palace police have registered a case against the contractor.