45 killed near Kufri in road mishap



Shimla: The harrowing spectre of mass tragedy once again visited Himachal Pradesh as 45 people were reported dead and several others injured in a road accident near Kufri today. The bus carrying around 50 passengers was on its way from Koti Ghat in Rampur when it fell into the deep gorge near Lambi Dhar. The deceased have been identified as Jogender (bus driver, Kathala), Narender Kanwar (Kyara), Nihal Chand (Bhamnoli),  Suresh Kumar (Bharana), Avdhesh (Premghat), Sushil Kumar and Ramji (Theog), Naresh Kumar (Narkanda), Rajendra (Janog Ghat), Kamlesh Chauhan, Naresh and Shanti Swarup (Badagaon), Pradeep Kumar (Bhuna), Dropadi (Janed Ghat), Hira Nand (Ujjaid), Prem Sukh (Chamula), Mamta and Chand (Batawda), Vivek Bali and Chetan (Chamola), Anil (Darog), Yoga Nand Bali (Ahar), Krishan Chand Kainthla and Laxmi Kainthala (Damod village),  Gangi Devi (Latyana), Phulli Devi (Palvi), Prakash Chand (Shanel), Mohan Lal Bharadwaj (Batawda), Krishna and Brij Lal (Kandyali), Durga Dass (Kuarsain),  Jeet Ram (Palwi), Dewan Chand (Ghasni), Kamla Devi (Gulloo), Tara Chand and Paras Ram (Damod), Lal Singh (Thanthal), Durga Nand (Bhoona), Pinki (Damai), Yadav (Hiranagar), Ghanshyam (Khumda Hathiya), Rajeev Kumar (Ghareen).

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  1. Refer http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20081105/himacha

    Year BusAccidents Involved Pvt Buses Killed/Injured

    2004 186 152 (81.7%) 179/731

    2006 158 131 (82.9%) 146/741

    The miles driven by Pvt and State Transport was almost 50% each.

    The lions share of accidents is clearly under PVT sector.

    Its a wake up call for Govt of Himachal Pradesh

    Buses are the only mode of public transport in Himachal. And chief minister is giving 50,000 for those killed.

    Some immediate measures

    A) Remove music system etc from Driver cabins. put them in conducters(helpers) area.

    B) Isolate driver from rest of bus by some enclosed area.

    Long term

    A) Mandatory driving test of all drivers to be classified as a bus driver. This test will ensure that only those who hold bus driving license can drive it. This will shorten supply of bus drivers, will increase

    wages and hence encourage people to clear tests.

    B) Register all drivers in a central database with information regarding their driving license, previous driving history

    C) Mandatory half yearly health/fitness checkups conducted by govt of himachal pradesh

    D) Surprise driver checking

    E) Uniform/Name tags for all private drivers across the state

    F) Cancel license of bus owner in case of irregularities

    Public transport sector needs stricter regulation. Its time for action. Needless lives are getting wasted because of lax rules.

  2. It is very tragic incident leaving many families in trauma. The whole society is shocked by such incidents. Ministers, administrators rushing to spot distributing a fix amount and ordering a magisterial inquiry is a routine after such incidents. We all know the problems but forget everything till repetition.

    Governments in any civilized societies have a primary obligation to safeguard the lives of its people and make and implement laws. But in our own country the main interest in governance is mainly limited to “big deals” only and not for such issues. We all understand the basic motive why people want to enter into politics. Lack of responsibility and accountability are the aberrations of our so called democratic system. That is why children keep on falling in bore wells and accidents like this happens repeatedly. The accident could have been averted, had some of the following measure had been taken.

    1) It is the same spot where Dhamwari-Mashru bus met with an accident a few years back. The curves are deep and deceptive. I have seen this patch without tarring for the last few years. What are the reasons why Public works deptt. was unable to repair this 200 mt stretch?

    2) Can't we ban music system installation near driver's seat and offer an alternative to play it another place convenient to conductor only. The complete ban is no answer when there is no conscious to abide by rules and machinery to check such rules.

    3) The Bonut is used by the drivers is used as sitting place for near and dears. “gupp-shup” by the drivers while driving is a common scene and a big hazard to passengers. It should be mandatory to seal bonut region to avoid such a usage.

    4) Speed limits should be monitored on roads to check competitive races for picking up passengers. The technology is very cheap and used world over. I wonder what our officers and beurocrates learn from west when they finance their official tours from public money.

    5) Licensing should be made stricter based on written as well as the practical examination. People are not even served with a literature depicting road signs and rules, not to think about examinations. Influential class can easily provide licence to their domestic help for driving utility vehicles and thereby putting a question mark on road safety.

    6) Talking on mobile phones while driving is a new road hazard not only to persons sitting in the vehicle but also to other vehicles on road. Everyone appears to be attending an SOS call. When common sense does not prevail, we have to be stricter in enforcing rules. I do not understand why government in Himachal is very soft on this front (due to good road conditions?), while it is checked strictly elsewhere. People may feel inconvenient in the beginning but it will help in maintaining better road safety in long run.

    (Please Note: I have put my energy here only with a hope that anyone may be ready to accept some of the suggestions)

  3. To editor,

    How come Mr. Tenzin provide a link of today's Tribune at 2:50AM. It is difficult to believe that a comment is written at a time when latest issue of tribune is not online. Moreover, the suggestions matches with later comment. Is any problem with moderation or timings.

  4. Dear Mr. Sharma,

    Your suggestions are absolutely right. But will authorities wake up from the slumber inspite of such regular fatalities?

    Reckless driving as well as derelection of duty on part of authorities concerned is a feature which spans the length and breadth of this country.

    Those who don't have their skin in the game won't bother to act while others will remain mute spectators…saga of pointless deaths continues.

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