Illegal building alteration claims Kerala trader's life

Illegal alteration to building claims trader's life in Kerala

Representative image: iStock Photo

A trader died after he fell through an opening made illegally on the floor of the corridor of a shopping complex connecting the basement at Kozhikode in Kerala on Saturday.

Hydrose Haji, a 70-year-old textile trader from Tirur in Malappuram district, is the victim.

On Monday, the Kozhikode corporation initiated steps to suspend the licence of the building.

The complex, in the heart of the city, has wholesale textile shops. For easy access to the basement parking lot, especially to transport goods, an opening on the floor of the corridor was made. The opening was covered with a lid-like small door made of iron bars.

Haji, who used to run a textile shop at Tirur, had come to the complex to buy textile products. However, he fell through an uncovered opening and landed in the basement, a 15-foot fall. Though he was rushed to a nearby hospital, he died by afternoon.

An employee of the shop told a section of media that usually the door would be closed immediately after loading or unloading goods from vehicles in the basement. But unfortunately, that day, the opening was left uncovered and Haji fell into it as he did not notice it. 

Kozhikode corporation secretary Binu Francis told DH that the officials who inspected the building reported multiple violations of norms in the building and hence a notice has been served to the owner.

As per the approved plan of the building, the place where the mishap occurred was to be a corridor with handrails. But the handrails were found to be removed and a pathway was made using material like plywood and openings were made on it to transport goods. They have also spotted many other violations in the building.

The police have registered a case against the building owner, who is said to be an NRI businessman. Apart from negligence, provision for culpable homicide not amounting to murder was likely to be invoked against the building owner.