“You must take responsibility. Don’t escape from your duties,” urges Pawan Kalyan to Andhra Minister Akhila Priya.

Vijayawada boat tragedy Pawan Kalyan meets victims holds Andhra govt responsibleAll images: Facebook/Jana Sena Party
news Politics Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 14:44

Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan on Saturday met with victims of the boat accident near Vijayawada, which killed 21 tourists last month.

Arriving in Ongole as part of his ‘Chalore Chalore Chal’ tour, a day after his visit to Vijayawada, the actor-politician met with families of the victims.

Like his previous meetings, the victims were given a chance to come on stage with the Jana Sena party chief, and voice out their concerns to the mediapersons who had gathered. 

Speaking at the event, Pawan Kalyan said, "Being a state Minister is not about sitting in a car with an escort and a beacon. It is about taking responsibility, whether you are MLA, MP or a Minister. You must make the people feel that you are there for them, otherwise you fail in your duties." 

"I request Tourism Minister Akhila Priya to come here once, speak to the people, understand their concerns, speak to officials like the Tourism Secretary, and chalk out an action plan to prevent this in the future," he added.

Taking the example of Lal Bahudar Shashtri who resigned, following the Ariyalur train disaster in 1956, Pawan said, "I'm not saying that you (Akhila) have to do that, but you must take responsibility. Don't escape from your duties, and please implement safety measures and guidelines irrespective of the ruling government. There should be no compromise, when it comes to service for the people.

He also said that there were no life jackets given to the victims, even though the incident happened close to the state's upcoming capital of Amaravati.

"If you don't have life jackets near the 'world class capital', tourism gets a bad name. How will you attract tourism, when lives are being lost like this?" he asked.

"It is not enough just to develop Amaravati and its surroundings. The full state must develop. I don't care for politics. I'm just here to highlight the problems of the people," Pawan concluded.

Background

The overloaded boat of a private operator carrying 45 tourists, including three crew members, capsized near Ibrahimpatnam Ferry Ghat near Vijayawada in the second week of November.

The tourists, majority of them hailing from Ongole town, were coming from Bhavani Island to Pavitra Sangamam, or holy confluence of Krishna and Godavari rivers to witness 'Maha haarathi' ritual on the last Sunday of the auspicious month of 'Karthika'.

The tourists had boarded a boat of the Tourism Department, but when told that the time for ferrying passengers was already over, they boarded the private boat.

The police said that the driver was inexperienced and unfamiliar with the area. He suddenly lost control of the overloaded boat, which capsized.

Following the accident, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the families of the dead.

Terming the incident as unfortunate, the Chief Minister said a committee comprising of IAS and IPS officers had been formed to prevent such incidents in future.

Except for three, all the victims were from Ongole town of Prakasam district, including 32 members of the Ongole Walkers' Club.

Pawan on 5-day tour

On Friday, Pawan Kalyan met with students from the Fathima Institute of Medical Sciences (FIMS) at the Fortune Murali Park Hotel in Vijayawada.

Close to 100 students from the 2015-16 MBBS batch of the FIMS have been left in the lurch since last year after their college was derecognised. The concerned authorities didn't relocate them to other medical colleges.

The students have been left with no options, no money, and are staring at the possibility of three academic years gone to waste. 

Read: ‘You are our last hope’: Protesting Fathima students meet Pawan Kalyan in Vijayawada

A day before that, Kalyan extended his support to the employees of Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) who are fighting against the privatisation of DCI in Vizag.

The employees are agitating against the proposed 100% strategic sale of equity by the union government and had met Pawan Kalyan earlier in the week to seek his help in the matter.

The JSP chief invited opposition leader Jaganmohan Reddy and all other parties to come together to address issues irrespective of party affiliation.

Pawan has also written to Prime Minister Modi to intervene in the matter and stop the sale of DCI to private players.

Read: Pawan Kalyan questions govt move to privatise Dredging Corporation of India

 

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