Opposition in Andhra alleges delay in payment to Pushkar Ghat stampede victims' kin

VIJAYAWADA: Legislators from the ruling and the opposition parties on Monday exchanged a heated arguments over delay in payment of compensation to the families of the victims of  Pushkar Ghat stampede during Godavari Pushkaralu.
As many as 27 people were killed and over 30 injured in the stampede in Rajamahendravaram more than 20 months ago.
While the YSRC alleged that the chief minister's craving for publicity has led to the mishap, the TDP rubbished the argument and stated that it was ready to provide compensation to the injured, if anyone is left out.
Raising the issue during question hour, YSRC MLA Chirla Jaggireddy said it has been more than 20 months since the incident occurred and the government has failed to identify the people responsible for the incident and taking necessary action against them. He also complained that though 51 people were injured in the incident as per the police report, the government is claiming that only 31 were injured and failed to provide compensation to the remaining victims.
"Justice Somayajulu Commission which is probing into the incident has failed to submit its report till date. During the Pushkaralu preparations, the government claimed that it was going to install closed circuit cameras with 72 hours of storage capacity during a workshop on disaster management, but later, the district collector submitted a report to the Commission stating that the CC cameras had no storage facility. The government is trying to mislead the public to cover up its mistakes," alleged Jaggireddy.
However, Rajamahendravaram rural MLA Gorantla Buchaiah Chowdhary rubbished the opposition leaders who held the chief minister responsible for the stampede. He claimed that the chief minister took the dip at Pushkar Ghat after the officials informed him that Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswati was taking dip at the VIP Ghat and hence, alternate arrangements were made at Pushkar Ghat.
Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu asked the Opposition to approach him with the list of the injured who did not get due compensation. He pointed out that the reasons for the stampede and the persons responsible can be found out only after the Somayajulu Commission submits its report to the government. "We would initiate action against those who are responsible, but until then, we cannot act on our own," he affirmed.
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