Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced it has deputed two senior officers to coordinate with victims of the boat tragedy in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, while opening a helpline to share information with their relatives.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa expressed grief and regret over the incident and said 33 of the total 45 persons travelling in the boat hailed from Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu, but it was not clear how many of the deceased belonged to the state.
In a statement the Chief Minister said soon after coming to know of the incident, she had asked Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan to talk to her Andaman counterpart, but the local administration there has so far no information on the number of victims from her state.
"Under these circumstances, I have directed Tamil Nadu Revenue Administration Commissioner and the Revenue Secretary to visit Port Blair and take steps for the appropriate medical treatment of the rescued persons.
Further, I have asked that the rescued persons be sent back to Chennai by flight at government expense," Jayalalithaa said.
She said the state government would also bear the cost of flying the bodies of the deceased persons back to Tamil Nadu, which would be handed over to relatives in Kanchipuram district.
Further the government has opened a helpline 1070 regarding information of this tragic incident, she said.
The Chief Minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh each to families of the victims.
At least 21 persons died when the tourist boat carrying them capsized in the Bay of Bengal.
The boat `Aqua Marine` with 45 tourists on-board capsized between Ross Island and North Bay near Port Blair in Andaman.