Theni forest fire: a trek that ended in tragedy

Kamal Haasan hails rescue efforts in Theni

Indian Air Force helicopter engaging in rescue operation after the forest fire at the Kurangani hill in Theni district on Monday.   | Photo Credit: S. Krishnamoorthy

Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan on Monday appreciated the joint efforts of the Central and State governments in rescuing victims of the forest fire in Kurangani in Theni district.

Addressing a press conference in Coimbatore on Monday, he said the governments were doing what was best in the country. The actor spoke to the parent of a victim Jayashree and was trying to get in touch with others.

Responding to a question on shortage of field staff in the Forest Department, Mr. Haasan said that the accident had a gory lesson to be learnt: such accidents should not recur. The administrators should take this incident as part of their learning curve to ensure protection to those going on treks.

Trekking should continue with protection. It would be wrong to stop trekking altogether, the actor said and added, but the sad thing about the accident was that youth had lost their lives and the future of families had been destroyed.

On the delay in the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board, Mr. Haasan said the Centre must constitute the Board and the political game behind the delay should stop. The parties concerned to the Cauvery water sharing dispute need not have taken the issue to the level that it appeared to be an unsolvable issue.

But the important duty before farmers, and in fact, all Tamils, was that they should conserve water .

He would not mind talking to Karnataka on the Cauvery issue or Kerala for its check dam construction across River Bhavani, he said. For, only dialogue could bring about a solution and carrying the message of people to the administrators was something he would not be ashamed of doing, the actor added.

Asked about the River Bhavani check dam issue, he said though he had talked to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the check dam issue was never discussed.

On actor Rajinikanth’s silence on the Cauvery issue, Mr. Haasan said it was not the “only issue” that his former co-star had not expressed his opinion. There were other issues as well. Therefore, to pin him down on this issue would not be right.

The actor-politician said law and order had deteriorated and the State Government should restore peace.

On Tamil Nadu’s income going up by 22% from Goods and Services Tax and his opposition to it, the actor said he was only against the way the Centre and State had implemented the new tax measure, high slabs for a few goods and services and the failure to consult the film industry.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 4:05:33 PM |

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