Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Following the deadly bus accident in Angul in which 19 persons were killed and 30 others were critically injured after a bus fell off a bridge, the State government has woken up to decide that speed governors will be installed in all passenger buses.

In a meeting between the bus owners association and the transport commissioner, a decision to this effect has been taken to complete the installation process by October 31. Moreover, a special squad will be constituted to keep a close eye on the drivers and to prevent drunken driving and use of mobile phones during driving. Drivers of the busses have been banned from keeping cell phones with them while driving. The mobile phones of the drivers will be kept with the bus conductors instead. Similarly, a toll-free number will be provided to the passengers to file complaints against the bus drivers.

“All the busses will be fitted with a speed governor by October 31. The bus and truck associations are creating awareness among drivers to prevent drunken driving, overloading, overspeeding and usage of mobile,” said Transport commissioner Chandrasekhar Kumar.

In the meantime, the driver of the bus which fell off a bridge on its way to Athamallick, has refuted the findings of the probe report that the accident occurred as he was talking on mobile phone while driving. According to driver Birendra Behera, the accident occurred due to a technical glitch in the steering.

Interestingly, the probe report has revealed that the bus was running on kerosene instead of diesel and the tyres of the bus were in a dilapidated condition. However, the permit and the fitness certificate of the bus were up to date.

“The bus’ tyres were not fit for use and the bus was running on kerosene. The only way to stop such negligent practices is to launch a judicial inquiry into the matter,” said general secretary of CITU Upendra Sharma.

“The probe has revealed that the tyres of the bus were retarded but the fitness certificate of the bus was valid. Efforts are on to nab the owner of the bus,” said additional collector of Angul Srinivas Behera.

On the other hand, an awareness programme has been launched by the bus association for drivers to ensure that they understand and follow the guidelines while driving.

“The bus association has launched an awareness drive for drivers and it is a welcome step,” said Bhubaneswar deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi.