The manner in which our Ministers react to major accidents is pathetic. Their usual reaction is that the collector has been asked to take urgent relief measures. (Do our officers from the Indian Administrative service wait for directives from the Ministers to take relief measures? If so, something is seriously wrong with our administration. Rescue and relief is something that should move without directives from the Minister after the accident.) This time (gas tanker accident at Karungappally), they went overboard in exposing themselves and their departments.

The Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran said in an official release that he had even given directives for rehabiltiation. He did not stop with that. He immediately called a meeting of oil company and other officials at Karunagappally for consultations on “how to prevent such accidents in future, and if such accidents occur, what should done to mitigate them.” Definitely the right time and venue to think of solutions!
He also congratulated the officials including police, who are suspected to have triggered the explosion by starting their jeep close to the leaking tanker, for their good work.

Not to be left behind, the Revenue Minister K. P. Rajendran immediately rang up the Central Disaster Management Authority and asked for advice and as to how to handle the situation in Karunagappally and protective equipment for relief workers. The fun of this is that the Revenue Department was preparing for disaster management for the past three years. However, disaster managements plans are not ready in most of the districts and preparedness is still lacking.

However, it seems that the school teacher did better this time. P. K. Sreemathy (Health Minister), who has miserably failed to contain contagious diseases in the State, this time quietly rushed to the medical college hospital in Thiruvananthapuram and reached there even before the victims arrived. Owing to her presence or not, the college was well-prepared to receive the victims, reports said. Whether it was because she chose to be silent or because the media ignored here, Sreemathy has made no statements and there is no press releases in her name on the official Web site.

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