Greater Noida, July 18 (IANS) Shiv Trivedi, 25, threw a house warming party on the weekend when he and his mother moved into his new home in the now collapsed Greater Noida building. His sister-in-law with her one-year-old daughter stayed back to help him manage his “dream house”.
On Wednesday, all of them were trapped, feared dead, in the concrete rubble of the multi-storey structure that collapsed when a nearby under construction structure came crashing on it.
As dozens of rescue workers were clearing the debris using giant earth diggers and movers, Trivedi family members stood at a distance, crying their eyes out and praying for the safety of the four.
Shiv, a branch manager of a Noida-based private company, was the younger of the two sons of his parents living in Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh. He shifted to Noida in search of a better life about three years ago.
His father said he “is a ray of hope” to the family and had always been a bright kid.
Shiv brought the house in March – just three years after he shifted to the satellite town near Delhi.
“He achieved so much at a young age. I am 50 and I have not been able to buy a house for my family. But at just 25, he owned a house,” one of Shiv’s uncles told IANS.
Last he spoke to his office was at 8.50 p.m. on Tuesday. But he is untraceable since then, with many fearing that he and the three of his family may be under the debris of the two buildings in Shahberi village of Greater Noida, some 30 km from Delhi’s central business hub Connaught Place.
As TV channels started airing the news of the collapse late into Tuesday night, Shiv’s friends and family started calling him to check if they were fine. But his phone remained unreachable.
Shiv’s father, elder brother, two uncle, cousins and other close relatives reached the spot on Wednesday morning.
“I am sure they are under the debris but I am also sure that they are alive but need to be rescued fast,” Shiv’s brother Ram Trivedi, 27, told IANS.
Almost all of them had come to attend the house warming ceremony on Saturday. Almost all of them left for Mainpuri, but Shiv’s mother, sister-in-law and his niece stayed back to give him company in the new house for some days and help him manage his house, said Ram, a lawyer.
A restless Ram refused to sit and was constantly staring at the debris, fingers crossed.
The family alleged that the builder had used sub-standard material in the construction. They also complained that the rescue operation was delayed, diminishing hopes of survival of the trapped.
“It has been so long and our family is untraceable. If they had done the rescue operation in the night, my family could have been saved,” said one of Shiv’s relatives, blaming the catastrophe on weak enforcement of regulations and rampant structures coming up in the area.