The district administration ordered the inquiry on the instruction of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy

Bhandari Swagat Ranveerchand , Sub-Collector, Fort Kochi, has been entrusted with the task of conducting an inquiry into the incident in which five NCC cadets drowned in the Periyar.

The district administration ordered an emergency inquiry at the instruction of the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The Sub-Collector has been asked to submit the report within 15 days. District collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed said that visitors will not be allowed into Mahoganythottam at Malayattoor till the inquiry is completed.

Reasons behind the accident, negligence on the part of authorities, facilities at Malayattoor for organising a national-level camp, precautions taken by the NCC authorities, absence of primary health assistance, delay in rescue operations are some of the aspects that will be looked into.

The inquiry report will also feature the recommendations to avert similar tragedies in the future.

A meeting of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) held at the Collector’s chamber on Thursday also discussed the accident. Forest officials said that visitors’ entry into the river in violation of guidelines often led to accidents.

The suggestion to segregate the danger zone with fencing or net is not practical as it would induce visitors to go up to the point where they are erected, officials said.

They claimed that forest watchers had undertaken rescue operations and that there was no negligence on the part of the department.

The Collector directed that warning messages in Hindi, English, and Tamil languages be placed at the accident-prone site. Monitoring should be intensified to prevent visitors from entering the river.

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