A day after the fateful bus tragedy which killed 49 passengers in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh, the Congress state unit chief and the former Chief Minister, Kamal Nath, alleged that the transport mafia was running amok in the state.
“Sans insurance, fitness certificates, speed governors and overcrowded; buses running on MP roads are offering open invitations to accidents,” Nath tweeted.
“Buses have no safety measures, don’t comply with the norms, there is no routine checking and authorities only wake up after accidents,” added the MPCC chief, seeking action on transport mafia to avert repetition of Sidhi like incidents.
The Congress party on Tuesday had slammed Transport Minister Govind Singh Rajput for his tepid response, who was seen having lunch at a function organised by the cabinet colleague in Bhopal even after the Sidhi incident was reported in the morning.
Though the bus which met with the accident on Tuesday had a valid fitness certificate and insurance cover, it was taking an alternate route against norms due to a traffic jam. It had irregular permit for 138 km despite being eligible for up to 75 km permit and had 62 passengers against the seating capacity of 32.
Highway number 39, which links Satna-Rewa to Sidhi-Shahdol, was blocked with traffic jams for several days as a heavy vehicle was stuck there. The road has also been destroyed with the passing of overloaded vehicles of a nearby cement plant and dumpers carrying sand illegally. As a result, the vehicles take an alternate 10km dangerous route alongside the Bansagar dam canal.
The death toll in the bus accident tragedy in Sidhi district in Madhya Pradesh has gone up to 49 with the recovery of two more bodies on Wednesday morning, police said.
On Tuesday, bodies of 47 people, including 20 women and two children, were recovered after the packed private bus skidded off the road and plunged into a water-filled canal in Sidhi.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is expected to visit Sidhi on Wednesday. He could also order stringent action on those responsible for the fateful accident, sources said.
Siblings Save Seven Lives
The 17-year-old Shivrani Loniya and her 32-year-old brother Surendra of Sharda Patna village have emerged as heroes as they managed to save seven lives from the canal after the bus plunged there. Both have been praised by the Chief Minister. The duo lamented that they could not save a toddler who was washed away in strong current.