KOLLAM: A day after Justice Krishnan Nair, who is acting as a one-man judicial commission of the State Government who will inquire into the circumstances that led to the Puttingal Temple disaster, expressed his willingness to step down from the post citing ‘personal reasons’ the government has swung into damage control mode.
Brushing aside reports that the State Government had given the cold shoulder to the Commission, which was appointed by the UDF Government, Minister J Mercykutty Amma said that the Government is committed to providing facilities that will ensure the smooth functioning of the Commission.
“I came to hear about reports that the government didn’t extend the term of the Commission. This is untrue. It was two or three weeks ago that the decision to extend the term of the Commission was taken. The one issue that is currently before the government is regarding the living victims of the fire tragedy. Even though adequate compensation was disbursed to the kith and kin of the dead, the problems of the living victims and their families are vast. I had brought this matter before the Chief Minister and a suitable decision will be taken in a time-bound manner,” said Mercykutty Amma.
When asked about the reports that it was the displeasure of the Commission over the non-sanctioning of funds, appointment of staff and unavailability of infrastructural facilities that led to his resignation, the Minister said that the government is unaware about such issues and added that once such issues were brought to the government’s notice, they would be addressed properly.
When contacted, Justice Krishnan Nair said that he was not blaming anyone and added that it’s because of some personal reasons that he expressed his willingness to step down. “I am not annoyed with anyone nor do I want to blame anyone. Some say that it’s in protest against the apathy of the government that I tendered my resignation. That’s misleading. It was in May that I took up the responsibility of the Commission. Since then, I informed the government several times about the need for facilities for the functioning of the Commission; but received no reply. It was the lack of facilities that hampers the functioning of the Commission,” said Justice Krishnan Nair. When asked whether he would reconsider his decision if the government addressed the issues, Krishnan Nair said, ‘’Let me consider it.’’
At the same time, concerned over the developments, Chathanoor MLA G S Jayalal is planning to write to the Chief Minister demanding effective intervention of the government. Jayalal said that he had earlier informed the government about the problems being faced by the Commission. He added that the government should provide basic infrastructural facilities for its smooth functioning.