The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cable death paves protest path

Several organisations in the city have decided to band together to protest the untimely death of Amit Dalmia and mobilise public support against the “death traps” lurking on the city roads. Several rallies, seminars and awareness campaigns are being lined up.

Hundreds of people on Saturday thronged in front of the Dalmia house on Ritchie Road to express their solidarity with the family. “We will not let Amit’s death go in vain. We will march on the streets to garner support against the gross negligence of Reliance Infocomm which caused the 25-year-old to die,” several of them told Amit’s grief-stricken father Santosh Dalmia at their residence on Saturday.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Santosh Dalmia said “many people he didn’t know at all” had come to offer their condolences.

On May 12, Amit died a tragic death after a metal strip, raised at an incline of about 10 inches from the road, pierced through his car and ripped his heart and lungs, killing him instantly. The metal strip had been laid by Reliance Infocomm as a protective covering for its optical fibre cables, while networking the city.

Several organisations like Concern for Calcutta, Calcutta Citizens Initiative and PUBLIC have joined ranks with Amit’s friends and well-wishers, expressing their willingness to mobilise public support against the peril points on the thoroughfares. “We feel very strongly about the death traps,” said Bonani Kakkar, president of PUBLIC.

“We plan to bring out a huge rally to protest poor road conditions. It is not one particular organisation that we intend to target. It is the situation that concerns us,” Kakkar added.

The city police have recently identified more than a dozen death traps spread across the city which can cause a mishap.

Two other organisations, Calcutta Citizens Initiative and Concern for Calcutta, have lined up seminars and meetings to muster public support on the issue. “Amit’s death should work as an eye-opener for all of us. The seminars we have planned will be the ideal platform to launch a campaign against all agencies that dig up roads and turn them into hell holes, forgetting about the safety of the people,” said Narayan Jain, vice-president of Calcutta Citizens Initiative and a senior governing body member of Concern for Calcutta.

On Saturday, another organisation, Centre for Communication and Development, announced the start of a series of awareness programmes on the issue. “Amit’s death has stirred us. We will highlight the negligence of a reputed company like Reliance Infocomm,” said secretary Swapan Mukherjee.

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