Pettimudy landslide: Lapses on company's part in informing authorities should be probed, says report
Kochi: The special action force appointed by the collector has pointed out in a probe report that the lapses that occurred in informing the Munnar Pettimudy landslide tragedy to the outer world should be investigated. According to reports, the KDHP field officer was informed of the tragedy that happened at night. As the incident was reported to outer world very late, the rescue operation was not started in the initial hours, the report states.
The landslide that took place in Pettimudy on August 6 was informed to the outer world only after 12 hours. Following this, rescue operation was delayed and many deaths occurred, it is stated in the report submitted to Idukki collector. The tragedy occurred within the limits of KDHP company at night. However, the authorities were not informed though there are communication facilities at Rajamala manager's bungalow.
It should be probed if there was any lapses on the part of the company officials in informing the authorities at the right time. The survivors had raised a similar allegation after the incident. Though field officer at Rajamala estate bungalow was informed by night itself, the revenue authorities were not informed immediately, as per the report.
The revenue authorities came to know about this after the company requested for a JCB at 8.30 am next day, stating that mud slipped behind the lane of houses in the estate. A 12-hour delay occurred in reporting the tragedy. According to post-mortem report, many victims died by 6 in the morning. At least a few people could have been saved if the rescue operation had started at night.
Accommodating labourers in small houses with no proper facilities is a violation of human rights. The companies should ensure the safety of the houses and conduct scientific studies in view of natural calamities, the report recommended.