Staff Correspondent

Minister shows appreciation for people of the village who helped at the crash site

Personnel of the Konkan Railway, including doctors, praised

Udupi: Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa said on Tuesday that he had instructed the in charge Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, tahsildars and District Health Officer in Udupi district to provide all help to the families of Saturday's air crash victims.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Muniyappa said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and All India Congress Committee President Sonia Gandhi had asked him to visit all the families of the victims in the district and offer them full support.

Compensation

He said the authorities had already made it clear that the families would get Rs. 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Air India had announced an immediate compensation of Rs. 10 lakh for every adult and Rs. 5 lakh for every child killed. The injured would get Rs. 2 lakh each.

Mr. Muniyappa lauded the people of the villages near the Bajpe Airport who had rushed to help. The personnel of the Konkan Railway, including doctors, had also provided help, he said.

Many special teams had visited Bajpe Airport and the site of the crash and a detailed investigation was on. Quick results

He said he had requested the results of the DNA samples of 22 bodies that had been sent to Hyderabad to be made available within two to three days.

Mr. Muniyappa said that he had visited the relatives of the victims in Kundapur, Gangolli, Brahmavar, Malpe, Alevoor, Kemthur and Korangarapady in the district. The tahsildars had been given special instructions to be in touch with the families of the victims whose bodies were awaited.

Longer runway

Asked for his reaction on Congress leader Janardhan Poojary's demand for a longer runway at Bajpe Airport, Mr. Muniyappa said that it was not fair to comment on any aspect of the crash as the matter was under investigation. All airports were constructed according to standard specifications. Mr. Poojary had only expressed his opinion, he said.

Udupi District Congress committee president M.A. Gafoor, Congress leaders Vasanth V. Salian, Pramod Madhwaraj and Assistant Commissioner K.N. Ramesh were present.

Duplicate passports

On Monday, Mr. Muniyappa had told presspersons in Mangalore that the families of victims could bring any discrepancy in payment of compensation to the notice of the district administration. He said steps were being taken to ensure that duplicate passports were being issued in the name of all those killed in the accident.

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