CM talks about forest fire, cops’ suicides

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Monday said 17 trekkers lost their lives in the Kurangani Hills forest fire in Theni district on March 11, because of not following rules.

Addressing the assembly during the debate session, DMK working president MK Stalin alleged that forest officials didn’t get in touch with the updates of Forest Survey of India (FSI).

“I came to know that FSI has intimated about the fire much before it broke out,” he said.

Responding to his allegations, Palaniswami said, “While the group from Erode had brought the tickets, the 27-member team from Chennai didn’t get it. Secondly, instead of taking the trail to top station, the trekkers took the banned 7-km route to Kolluku hills tea estate. Other than the villagers and those working in the tea estates, no one is allowed in that route.”

On the suicides of police personnel, the CM said the recent suicides by two police personnel here were due to “private issues.”

The government was, however, implementing various measures to address the work pressure of the personnel, he informed the state assembly during a debate on the budget.