Blast at a construction site owned by BJP leader; no casualities2 min read
Manipal: As many as 30 houses of Gumle village in Vibhudapriya Nagar, Manipal were damaged by a shower of huge rocks when a granite mountain was blown on April 6 by dynamites to continue an on-going construction in the vicinity. No casualties were reported.
The four year old construction belonged to Vilas Rao Nayak, President of Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since its commencement, the construction has had an ample number of problems associated with it; the main road connecting the village to the town had been damaged over time and the residents had been complaining about the construction to the authorities for the past one and a half years, albeit unsuccessfully.
According to the residents of the area, the first blast which took place on April 5 produced a shower of small shrapnel. Describing the blast on April 6, the residents said they heard a loud sound at around six in the evening and saw a vast cloud of dust engulfing the area with boulders of rock flying as far as 300 metres from the blast site.
“Apart from the severe damages to our cowshed, parts of our roof have also crumbled due to the explosion. Moreover, the blast was planned in such a manner that the shrapnel do not damage their construction. At least the builder should have taken the responsibility to inform the inhabitants about the blast before,” said Sheena Nayak, an auto driver who lives near the construction site. Later he added, “We do not want the construction to stop and neither do we aim at receiving compensation for our loss. What we are concerned about is the safety. As long as that is taken care of, we have nothing to worry.”
However, while speaking to TMJ, Vilas Rao Nayak rubbished the claims saying “There were no blasts whatsoever. While drilling, a couple of rocks hit the roof of a resident called Krishna Nayak. There are no complaints registered and we have ensured that we compensate him for the damage caused. I think leaders like Pramod Madhwaraj (Udupi Block Congress President) are trying to tamper my image in society by carrying forward such negative publicity.” After the explosion, Nayak had visited the residents of the place apologising for the inconvenience caused and ensured better safety during the construction. He had also discussed further plans to complete the building before the rainy season.
Krishna Nayak said, “I guess because of the upcoming elections, Nayak gave the contract of removing the granite boulders to someone else. They chose to explode the site because it is much easier than drilling it through. Whatever it maybe, I’m sure the accident occurred because of lack of proper knowledge and common sense.”
Kushal Shetty, Former President of the Municipality; Vijay Jayata, Present Councillor of the Muncipality and Raghupati Bhatt, MLA, Udupi have also visited the site since the incident.
Sub-edited by Nishara K.P