Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami on Tuesday called on the parents of Sujith Wilson, the two year old boy who died after falling into a bore well in their private land in Tiruchi, and handed over ex gratia totalling Rs 20 lakh—Rs 10 lakh on behalf of his government and an equal amount on behalf of the ruling AIADMK.
Accompanied by Deputy O Pannerselvam and other Ministers, Palanisami called on the parents at their house in Nadukattupatti village near Manaparai in Tiruchi district and garlanded the portrait of the boy.
Talking to reporters, Palanisami said it was unfortunate that DMK chief and Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin, who had called on them after paying homage at Sujith’s grave earlier in the day, had sought to politicise a humanitarian tragedy.
In a similar borewell accident, a six-year-old boy died in Theni district in 2009 when the DMK was in power. Sujith was only two years old this had to be borne in mind, the Chief Minister pointed out.
He said immediately after the parents informed the local authorities about the accident on Friday evening, fire service personnel reached the spot and they were joined by officials from the health and revenue departments, besides police.
Soon after, teams of the State and national disaster response forces were deployed. Besides Pannerselvam and Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar, four other senior Ministers camped at the village and monitored the rescue efforts day and night for the past four days.
The Government also got the best equipment and assistance of experts from the NLC, the ONGC and the L& T and academics from the Anna University on how to save the boy from the narrow bore well.
Thanks to round the clock coverage by the television channels, the people saw for themselves the marathon efforts made by the Government to save Sujith. It was unfortunate that the efforts did not succeed, Palanisami said.
Asked how the Government was going to prevent such tragedies, Palanisami that as early as in 2012, previous Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had enacted a law to close such abandoned dry field wells across the State. It would be enforced.
However, the Government needed the cooperation of the people as most of these such wells were in private lands like the one in Nadukattupatti, he said.