CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the gas tanker lorry tragedy that took place at Chala in the district should be treated as a national disaster and that the Indian Oil Corporation, the state government and the Prime Minister’s Office should take measures to do so. Addressing a news conference at the CPM district office here, after visiting the disaster-hit Chala along with Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan on Saturday, Pinarayi Vijayan said that the victims of the gas inferno should be treated on par with the victims of a plane crash and that comparable amounts should be given as compensation to them. He said that a minimum of Rs 25 lakh should be given to the kin of those who died in the mishap. The norms being followed for giving compensation to victims of air disaster should be followed in the case of the Chala gas tragedy also, demanded the CPM state secretary.
“Instead of paying compensation to families affected by the disaster, every individual member of the family should get adequate compensation” he said.
“At least one member from each of the families hit by the tragedy should be given government jobs,” he said. Pinarayi Vijayan also demanded a high-level probe into the Chala gas disaster. The precarious condition of the roads and the government’s failure to maintain the safety of the roads were reasons for the frequent incidents of road accidents. Referring to the immediate action of removing the road-dividers by the authorities after the tragedy, Pinarayi said that the question whether the road-dividers were the only reason for the mishap should have been ascertained before taking such an action. The absence of reflectors on the road-dividers and the failure to give warning signals to drivers of vehicles were factors to be considered, he said. CPM district secretary P Jayarajan and M V Jayarajan also were present at the news meet.