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HC blames government for Kerala boat tragedy
Published on 20 Oct. 2009 11:51 PM IST
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The Kerala High Court Tuesday held the Kerala government and the Kerala Tourism Development Corp (KTDC) also responsible for the boat tragedy that killed 45 tourists last month, saying they did not act on earlier recommendations to improve safety. Justice K.T. Sankaran made the observation while granting bail to five of the six people 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. Sankaran said that the state government failed to take proper action on the recommendations of judicial commissions that had probed earlier boat tragedies in the state. He added that the KTDC also failed to comply with rules and regulations related to safety. Those who got bail include K.K. Sanjeev, the surveyor, N.A. Giri, an official of the Chennai-based company that produced the boat, the pilot of the boat and his assistant as well as 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 had taken in the last four months at all important tourist destinations.

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