The preliminary probe into private bus mishap taking 20 innocent lives at Nathpa in Kinnuar district yesterday revealed negligent driving as the cause of accident, besides having no mechanical fitness certificate.
The private bus Friends Coach ((HP 63-2051) was on its way from Reckong Peo to Rampur, and was trying to overtake other bus Suryansh Coach at Nathpa. While overtaking the driver lost control and rolled down to a gorge. Police while searching the wreckage of bus, found only registration certificate of the bus in which there was no mention of fitness certificate.
A police official said that several injured have stated that passengers had asked the driver to move slowly and not to overtake the vehicle. “We asked the driver about technical problem in the bus, which he admitted to and also said that due to a tight schedule, he is not getting the time to repair the fault” a police official narrated statement of injured.
Another reason behind rash driving of the bus was traffic jam at Urni. Since the main road was blocked and alternate road is really not enough wide to bear the traffic smoothly. Hence, traffic jam consumes most of the time of these private buses and they resort to rash driving to compensate the time, an official of district administration said requesting anonymity.
As per the registration certificate fitness was obtained till 2013 while as per the record available with transport directorate, the fitness certificate obtained by bus expired on 15th, July this year. There may be the chances that certificates were not in the bus, an official said. He also revealed that the bus operator was special road tax defaulter and transport department has served the notice as per rule.
Deputy commissioner Kinnaur Mr N.K Lath has ordered the magisterial probe and asked sub-divisional magistrate Nichar at Bhabhanagar, Neelam Dulta to submit the report within three days. When contacted, Dulta said she has received the letter from Deputy Commissioner’s office regarding the magisterial probe today.
Probe would be conducted in coordination with the police department ans as many as 20 people have been killed in the mishap while 11 others have sustained to injuries. So far the police have registered a case against the driver, who is admitted in hospital, for negligent driving.