Thiruvananthapuram: The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is facing criticism and questions after it collected and subsequently destroyed bricks gathered from the Attukal Pongal festival. These bricks, originally intended for the poor to construct houses, have been rendered unusable due to exposure to the elements and careless handling.
Mayor Arya Rajendran had previously announced plans to collect stones used during the Pongal festival for the LIFE project, warning of fines for those illegally collecting them. Following the festival, the corporation embarked on a three-day collection effort, amassing 95 loads of bricks from various parts of the city.
These collected bricks were then transported to Putharikandam, with the corporation employing workers and paying those wages for their efforts. The total expenditure incurred by the corporation for this endeavour amounted to approximately one and a half lakh rupees.
Remarkably, more than 100 individuals applied for the jobs created by this brick collection initiative. Priority was given to the most vulnerable members of society, including the extremely poor, differently-abled, terminally ill, and those dependent on social assistance. A list of 40 eligible people was subsequently prepared. However, concerns have arisen regarding the distribution of these collected bricks, with the corporation accused of distributing them to only a select few.
Moreover, questions persist about the fate of the remaining bricks that have been piled up at Putharikandam. The corporation has remained tight-lipped on this issue, leading to further scrutiny and calls for transparency regarding the management and utilisation of these valuable resources.