Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Dec 26, 2010
Wall adjoining Dalit colony demolished V.S. Palaniappan
The wall blocking the road to a Dalit colony at Nagarajapuram on the outskirts of Coimbatore being demolished on Saturday.
Coimbatore: Revenue officials on Saturday demolished two portions of a one-km-long compound wall in Nagarajapuram on the outskirts of the city, which had denied Dalits in the area access to the main road. The demolition of the “untouchability wall” along two stretches of 30 ft and 23 ft has now provided residents of the Dalit colony an easier access to the main road that stretches from Thadagam Road to Thondamuthur Road.
A real estate promoter had built the wall along his layout, measuring seven feet in height and two metre in width. The residents of the Dalit colony objected to this alleged discrimination.
They contended that the real estate promoter had built the wall fearing that the sites may not fetch a good price if Dalits had access to the approach roads at the layout. The wall had forced the Dalit colony residents to take a detour of more than a km to reach the main road.
The issue was brought to the fore by the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF). The approved layout plan had a reserve site on the other side of the compound wall which was shown as earmarked for a park. The approach road inside the layout from the main road ended just ahead of the park.
District convener of the TNUEF U.K. Sivagnanam was present when Tahsildars Lakshmikanthan (South) and S. Sundarrajan (North) inspected the wall. The officials first deputed a surveyor to measure the lands to ascertain the exact boundaries. The officials also checked with the local body on whether the reserve site and the approach roads in the layout had been handed over to the local body concerned.
On confirming that the layout was approved and the reserve site and approach roads had been handed over to the local body, the officials carried out the demolition on Saturday.
Using an earthmover, 30 ft length of the old compound wall at one place and another 23 ft of the new at the other end of the Dalit colony was demolished.