Shimla: A day after the Kullu bus accident that left 44 dead and 34 injured, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the state government would initiate steps to prevent such incidents and take stern action against the bus owners found guilty of overloading.
Talking to media persons during his visit to Kullu Friday, the CM said the Kullu additional district magistrate (ADM) had been instructed to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
Thakur also enquired about the condition of the injured at the Kully regional hospital.
He was accompanied by Transport Minister Govind Singh Thakur and Banjar MLA Surinder Shauri.
Meanwhile, former state Congress president Sukhwinder Sukhu criticised the government for failing to take effective measures even after the Nurpur bus accident in April last year that resulted in the death of 30 people, including 27 schoolchildren.
In a press statement issued here on Friday, Sukhu said the state government should enact a stringent law to prevent such road accidents.
Stern action should be taken against those found violating road safety rules, he added.
ASP Rajkumar Chandel told PTI that 44 people, including the bus driver, conductor and a tourist, were killed and 34 others injured Thursday when the overloaded private bus fell into a drain in Banjar tehsil of Kullu district.
Eleven severely injured passengers had been shifted to the PGI, Chandigarh, he added.
Earlier, a two-minute silence was observed in the memory of those killed in the accident during a state-level function at the Ridge in Shimla on International Day of Yoga.