Puttingal temple fire: Rajnath assures assistance to Kerala CM

Submitted by Editor on Sun, 2016-04-10 14:20 New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday dubbed the massive fire at the Puttingal temple in Kerala that killed over 100 people as tragic and assured all assistance to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in this hour of crisis. "This is a big tragedy. I spoke to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as soon as I received information about Kollam tragedy and took stock of the situation. I also assured him of all necessary assistance from the Centre. All necessary directions were issued keeping in view his request for two choppers," Singh told ANI here. The Home Minister said that he gave all necessary instructions to National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General, O. P. Singh as soon as he received the news. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has convened an urgent meeting of his Cabinet at 3 p.m. in Kollam. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has also joined the rescue operation, dispatching one Dornier, two Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) and medical teams from Garuda Naval Air station near Kochi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs. two lakh to next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those critically injured in the incident. The Prime Minister, who will land directly here with a team of burn specialist doctors, instructed that no official welcome protocols should be followed on his arrival here. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will also be visiting Kollam this afternoon to meet the victims. (ANI)