Tenders for renovation of the boat jetty where Saturday’s accident occurred have been issued and the work is likely to be completed in six months, K.C. Venugopal, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, who represents the Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency, has said. The renovated jetty can handle around 60 boats at the same time, he said.
He was interacting with The Hindu after meeting the survivors of the boat tragedy at the Alappuzha General Hospital on Saturday. He was at a loss for words to console Pandidurai, who lost his wife Sudheshini and five-year-old daughter Ilakya in the accident.
“The State government will meet all the expenses of taking the deceased and the survivors back home,” Mr. Venugopal said.
Later, addressing the media, A.P. Anil Kumar, Minister for Tourism, said that the State government was committed to ensure the safety of tourists coming to Alappuzha.
An urgent meeting had been convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the District Collectorate here on February 1 to discuss the issue, he said
Responding to a query on the bad condition of the boat jetty, Mr. Anil Kumar said that the State government had already allotted Rs.5 crore for constructing a gallery for the boat race and Rs.10 crore for renovation of the terminal. The works would be expedited, he said.
Discussions were held with Mr. Chandy and K. Babu, Minister for Ports, regarding the accident.
A decision on solatium for the victims of the accidents would be taken at the next Cabinet meeting. The prime concern now was to ensure that the survivors returned safely, Mr. Anil Kumar said.