HP Transport Minister should have resigned after Kullu Bus Accident: Congress

Himachal Pradesh Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore said State Transport Minister Govind Thakur should have resigned in the wake of the Kullu bus tragedy in which 45 persons were killed and 33 injured.

Speaking to mediapersons here Monday, Rathore said, "I have been told by the injured and other eye witnesses during my visit to Mandi and Kullu on Saturday that the conditions of the road and the bus were very bad."

Besides the bus was overloaded and around 80 passengers were travelling in it though it had a capacity of 42 seats, he added.

Instead of conducting a fair magisterial inquiry, the transport minister gave a clean chit to the private bus owner, Rathore said.

The Congress leader alleged Thakur was trying to shield the bus operator, saying the bus driver, conductor and the police could be faulted but the bus owner could not be held responsible for overloading.

The Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government had not made public the inquiry report and action taken report in the Nurpur bus accident in April last year in which 30 persons, including 27 school children, were killed, he said.

Rathore said the number of buses running on the busy routes in the villages should be increased to stop overloading.

Already 300 spare buses are lying with the transport department and more could be purchased, he added.

The state Congress president said no crash barrier had been installed at the Banjar bus accident site in Kullu district.

Crash barriers should be installed at all black spots identified by the state government without any further delay and the condition of the roads should be improved, he added.

He said the grievously injured in the Kullu accident should have been sent to PGI Chandigarh via helicopters instead of by roadways to save their lives.

He questioned the facilities at Banjar Civil Hospital, claiming that eyewitnesses told him there was no power in the hospital and treatment was done using mobile lights.

Talking about scab disease in the apple belt of the state, he said the state government should provide fungicide at subsidised rates to apple growers.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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