Thursday, October 22, 2009

Boat tragedy: govt, KTDC also responsible

22 October 2009

Kochi: The Kerala High Court Tuesday held the Kerala government and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) also responsible for the Thekkady boat tragedy because they did not act on earlier recommendations. Justice K.T.Sankaran made this observation while granting bail to five of the six people who were arrested by the Crime Branch during investigations into the tragedy.

The double-decker boat, owned by the state-run KTDC, capsized in the lake in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady last month, leading to the death of 45 tourists.

Sankaran said that the state government failed to take proper action on the recommendations of judicial commissions that probed earlier boat tragedies in the state.

He added that the KTDC also failed to comply with rules and regulations that they should have adhered to.

Those who got bail include K.K.Sanjeev, the surveyor, N.A.Giri, an official of the Chennai-based firm that manufactured the boat, boat's pilot, his assistant and a forest guard.

The bail of Chief Boat Inspector M. Mathews, who also is in custody, did not come up for hearing Tuesday.

Sankaran asked the state chief secretary to inform the court, within 10 days, what steps the government has taken in the last four months at all important tourist destinations in the state.

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