Thiruvananthapuram: Stung by criticism from various quarters for not visiting the landslide hit Idukki district, which saw 55 dead and 15 still missing, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan arrived at the accident site on Thursday.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was also present.
Taking off from here on 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. The spot is located about 30 kms from the popular tourist destination of Munnar.
The incident occurred on Thursday night, when four lines 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 be the Tea company,” said Vijayan.
“The education of all the students in the affected area will be taken care by the state government and the treatment of those under treatment (12) is 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 the country who expressed their deepest grief on this.
“The whole country was sad by this tragedy,” said Khan.
Vijayan came under fire from the principal opposition parties — the Congress and the BJP for failing to pay a visit, while all their top leaders came and spend time with the grieving families.