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Kerala CM denies discrimination in providing compensation to victims of landslide and air crash

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 09: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has dismissed the Opposition allegation that there was discrimination in providing compensation to victims of Rajamala landslide and the victims of aircraft crash at Karipur.

Pinarayi Vijayan

The solatium announced for landslide victims was an interim one and the state government will "hold together" those who have lost everything, Vijayan said at a press meet on Saturday.

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The state government had announced a solatium of Rs five lakh to the families of those killed in the landslide and Rs ten lakh to the families of those who lost their lives in the plane crash. Vijayan said since the rescue operations were still on for missing persons in the landslide in high range Idukki district and the government was yet to makea final assessment of the loss incurred.

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    "At Rajamala, we have declared the initial financial assistance. There the rescue operations are not over yet. We need to hold them together as we have the responsibility of taking care of those who lost everything. We also need to ensure their livelihood and rebuild their lives," Vijayan had said in the press meet.

    The opposition Congress and other parties had alleged discrimintion in providing compensation to the victims of two tragedies which happened within hours of each other. The opposition had also criticised the chief minister's visit to Karipur on Saturday to meet those injured in the air crash but not the landslide victims in Idukki. Vijayan had said that the priority of the government was to finish the rescue operations.

    "The rescue operations are still on there at Rajamala and our ministers are there cordinationg the rescue and search operations. But the rescue operations at Karipur were finished," Vijayan said.

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    Revenue Minister E Chandrashekaran and Electricity Minister M M Mani are camping in Idukki and coordinating the rescue operations.

    Forest Minister K Raju also reached the location on Sunday morning. The toll in the massive landslide that flattened a row of 20 houses of tea estate workers in the high range Idukki district rose to 28 today. The Air India Express crash had resulted in the death of 18 on board and injuring 172, some seriously.

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