As New Yorkers took out their WTC souvenirs on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, a college in Kerala’s Malappuram went about its business, unmindful that it had a piece of the twin towers with it.
The Nilambur Co-operative College has been built on the steel girders retrieved from the WTC, which collapsed after planes crashed into them five years ago.
The scrap from the skyscrapers was taken to various parts of the world and a Tamil Nadu firm took one such consignment (33,000 tonnes) to Chennai for sale in 2002.
A portion of it was brought to Kochi and a Malappuram-based engineering firm, Ralco, bought the scrap.
"It was sheer coincidence. We were looking for building material and chanced on this steel," co-operative college president Devanand explained. "We got the material for almost one-fourth of the market price," he said.
Initially, they were worried about the quality. But after they got it tested at a laboratory in Kochi, they found out that they had laid their hands on good stuff.
The college was built in 2003. "We bought only a small portion of it," said another office-bearer of the college, who tried to play down the WTC connection.
He has enough reasons to do so. Local CPM men run the co-operative college and an imperialist connection would only make them squirm.
“It was pure business. No sentiments attached. Please don't take it that way," he said when asked about the just-concluded fifth anniversary of 9/11.