Kollam: Residents of Paravur municipality, having just started recovering from the deadly Kollam temple tragedy which claimed at least 113 lives and left over 350 injured, have to grapple with a fresh challenge: the availability of clean water. On Wednesday, The Times of India reported that human remains, ash and debris from the explosion had contaminated most of the open wells in the area, a revelation that came to light following inspections conducted by the state's health department.
The report also said that following the tragedy, a combined team of experts from the state's health and water authority departments had been dispatched to collect water samples from local wells for testing and advised residents not to use water from the wells for drinking and other purposes until the results were out.
Although local NGOs have swung into action to provide support and the Paravur municipality is providing two tankers of water per day to the 50 or so households affected in the area, the report quoted a tanker truck driver as saying that it has become difficult to supply drinking water as most of the potable water sources in nearby areas have already dried up.
In a related development, IBNLive reported that the Kerala High Court on Tuesday suggested a CBI probe into the fire tragedy, and directed the state government to take action against those responsible for the disaster.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy called an all-party meeting to discuss the tragedy, and was quoted by IBNLive as saying, "It is only the observation of the High Court that Kollam tragedy should be investigated by the CBI. We have called for an all-party meeting on April 14 where the next course of action and decision will be taken."
The Solicitor General, appearing on behalf of the Kerala state government, told the high court that it could not rule out violation of safety measures during the fireworks on the night of the tragedy.
The court then questioning the role of officials in preventing such firework displays in the district, the High Court directed state authorities to "act against erring officials," and also asked the state police and the district officials to submit an affidavit to this effect.