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regular-article-logo Monday, 11 December 2023

Wall collapse kills 3 tribal children, triggers TMC-BJP row over Centre's freeze on housing funds

Villagers at Boramara and adjoining Nayakpara said their names were enlisted in the list of beneficiaries for a concrete house under the Centre-funded PMAY but they were yet to receive money to construct houses

Abhijeet Chatterjee Durgapur Published 01.10.23, 10:06 AM
The wall that collapsed at Boramara village in Bankura’s Bishnupur, killing three children on Saturday.

The wall that collapsed at Boramara village in Bankura’s Bishnupur, killing three children on Saturday. Picture by Rupesh Khan

Three tribal children aged between three and five years in Bankura's Bishnupur were killed on Saturday morning when a part of the wall of their mud house collapsed on them following incessant rain since Friday night.

The tragedy has triggered a political debate between the Trinamul and the BJP over the freeze on funds from the Centre under the housing scheme.

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People of Boramara village in Bishnupur said the children — cousins — were playing in the courtyard of their house when the incident occurred around 6am.

A villager said the wall came down with a crashing sound, burying Rohan Sardar, 5, Ankush Sardar, 3, and Nisha Sardar, 4, under the debris.

"We rushed them to nearby Bishnupur superspecialty hospital, where doctors declared them dead on arrival," an officer of Bishnupur police station said. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem.

Villagers at Boramara and adjoining Nayakpara said their names were enlisted in the list of beneficiaries for a concrete house under the Centre-funded PMAY but they were yet to receive money to construct houses.

This incident comes at a time when Trinamul national general secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee will hold a protest in Delhi demanding the immediate release of funds under various central projects.

Former junior panchayat minister and Trinamul leader Shyamal Santra alleged that they were unable to disburse money under PMAY as the Centre did not release funds under the scheme.

"The Centre has withheld funds for all central schemes. This has hurt development projects as well as the payment of wages under the 100-day job guarantee scheme. These children wouldn't have died if the families had received the money to construct a concrete home," said Santra.

BJP MP from Bishnupur Saumitra Khan visited the village after the incident and spoke to the victims' family members.

He accused the state government and Trinamul leaders of misappropriating central funds.

"The Centre was forced to withhold funds because of massive malpractices by Trinamul leaders. The state government didn't submit any details and accounts of the money they have spent under central schemes," alleged Khan.

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