Kerala govt announces Rs 20 lakh relief to deceased zookeeper's family

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 8 (PTI): A week after a reptile keeper died of a king cobra bite at the zoo here, the Kerala government on Thursday announced a Rs 20 lakh solatium to support his family.

A cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, took the decision to reach out to the family.

Of the total relief amount, Rs 10 lakh would be given as compensation to the kin ofHarshad, who hails from Amboori panchayat in Kattakkada, a nearby suburb,an official statement said here.

The 45-year-old man was bitten by the snake while cleaning its cage on July 1.

As part of the relief, a house would also be constructed for the bereaved family besides giving a job to his wife in the government sector under the die-in-harness-scheme setting aside seniority norms.

The educational expenses of the deceased person's son would be met by the government till he turns 18 years of age, the statement added.

According to zoo sources, Harshad had moved the snake to a smaller cage while cleaning the main enclosure and when he went back to the smaller cage he noticed it was dirty and proceeded to clean it without shifting the serpent back and consequently, was bitten.

Harshad had been working at the zoo here for the past four years.

Meanwhile, the LDF government also decided to give financial aid to the struggling family of an autorickshaw driver who had succumbed to COVID-19 last year.

A total of Rs 3 lakh would be granted from the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund for the education of his children and the livelihood of the family, it said.

As the family has no house or property of their own, a house/flat would be allotted to them under the government's LIFE Mission programme and a temporary lodging facility would be made available to them till then.

The cabinet meeting also decided to recommend the Governor Arif Mohammed Khan to convene the second session of the 15th Legislative Assembly from July 21, it said. PTI LGKBN BALA PTI LGKBN BALA

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