A view of the devastation caused by a landslide at Rajamalai in Idukki district of Kerala, during heavy rains, on August 7, 2020.
A view of the devastation caused by a landslide at Rajamalai in Idukki district of Kerala, during heavy rains, on August 7, 2020.
National

Kerala: Vijayan visits landslide area with Governor

IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, August 13, 2020

Stung by criticism from various quarters for not visiting the landslide-hit Idukki district, which saw 55 dead with 15 still missing, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the accident site on Thursday.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was also present.

Taking off from here in a helicopter, Vijayan was also accompanied by State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran and top officials.

After landing at Munnar, the team drove to the accident spot, located about 30 kms from the popular tourist destination of Munnar.

The incident occurred on Thursday night, when four lines of houses of estate workers attached to the Tata Tea estate were destroyed as a hill was completely razed to the ground following heavy rains in the area for over a week.

"So far 55 bodies have been recovered and 15 are still missing. The rescue operation is going on. We held a meeting with all the concerned, including the tea company officials. New homes will be built for all those who have lost theirs and what the State government has to do in this will be done, so would the tea company," said Vijayan.

"The education of all the students in the affected area will be taken care of by the state government and the treatment of those under treatment (12) also will be taken care. We are committed to this. Generally Rs four lakh is the ex-gratia payment in normal circumstances. We have already announced Rs five lakh and what has been announced will also be part of that and if anything needs to be done further, that also will be done," added Vijayan.

Khan said he received numerous calls from people across the country who expressed their deepest grief on the incident.

"The whole country was saddened by this tragedy," said Khan.

Vijayan came under fire from the opposition Congress and the BJP for failing to pay a visit, while all their top leaders had visited the spot and met the grieving families.

NNN

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