BJP demands resignation of Kerala Tourism Minister over boat tragedy

Thiruvananthapuram, May 9 : The Kerala BJP has demanded the resignation of state Tourism Minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas for "serious lapses resulting in Tanur boat tragedy on Sunday that claimed 22 lives". State BJP president K. Surendran said that "no proper action was taken after the Thekkady tragedy" that took place in 2009 when 45 people, mostly tourists from other states, drowned at a popular destination at Thekkady. Surendran claimed the Tanur tragedy could have been avoided if proper action would have been taken on the basis of the Thekkady tragedy report. "Riyas has to quit taking moral responsibility. If proper action was taken, 22 lives could have been saved. The only thing in Kerala that happens are rhetorics and advertisements... there are no effective guidelines for operations of houseboats... No one has any clue of how many houseboats are there in Kerala or are there any effective monitoring being done," the BJP leader added. "There is no system in place to prevent such tragedies as no one is interested in safety and security. We demand a proper probe and subsequent action based on the probe," said Surendran. The ill-fated vessel, named Atlantic, was a modified fishing boat and the required safety protocols were not followed. Recently, its license was cancelled. Besides children who did not require tickets, there were 40 people on the boat. At least 22 people died in the tragedy, while those rescued are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. One person is missing and the authorities are trying to trace the missing. /IANS


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