Almost 15 months after a boat capsized in Kerala’s Thekkady wildlife reserve leaving 45 people drowned, the one-man judicial commission appointed by the government Monday recorded statements of various officials on the tragedy.Justice (Retd) E. Moideen Kunju recorded statements of officials from the forest and tourism departments and the police besides the locals regarding the Sep 30, 2009 boat accident. He later told the media that the report would be submitted in a month’s time.
On Sep 30, 2009, a boat owned by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) sank in a lake at the wildlife reserve here after capsizing.
The boat, which had a capacity of 76 passengers, had 87 people on board at the time of the accident.
The government announced a Crime Branch probe but the cause of the tragedy is yet to be ascertained.The Crime Branch has arrested six people since then but the inquiry appears to have lost steam by now.
Those arrested included K.K. Sanjeev, the surveyor, N.A. Giri, an official of the Chennai-based firm that manufactured the boat, Victor Samuel, the boat driver, his assistant, a forest guard and Chief Boat Inspector M. Mathews.
All the six are currently on bail and Samuel, the boat driver, lost his job.
Boating in the lake, however, resumed 106 days after the tragedy struck but with stringent checks in place.