CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the TN Housing Board to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the father of a minor girl, who sustained head injuries when the roof of a bedroom in a flat in Foreshore Estate collapsed and fell on his daughter, seven years ago. (The building had since been demolished.)
According to S Ramalingam, the roof collapsed in August, 2004. His daughter suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital. It took nearly a month for her to recuperate. He said the TNHB did not maintain the building properly. The board admitted that the flats were built in 1963. Over the years, they were damaged due to sea breeze and salinity. In February 2004, a committee recommended the pulling down of the structure. Notices were issued to the allottees to vacate. But the petitioner did not move out.
Justice K Chandru said the HC had on more than one occasion awarded damages/compensation for the sufferings due to the State’s negligence. The housing board was a statutory body. Once it lets out its tenements under the rental scheme, it should maintain them. In the present case, it’s own panel had recommended pulling down of the buildings which had deteriorated due to natural causes and perhaps even the substandard materials used in the construction, the judge said, and ordered the compensation, to be paid in addition to the one already paid by the government towards the girl’s medical expenses.