AGARTALA: Both the Assam and the Meghalaya Governments have been blamed for the tragic bus accident on August 8 on NH-44 in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district that left 30 dead and 26 injured.
An official report here Saturday confirmed that the mishap took place because of overloading and carrying excess passengers beyond seating capacity in an Agartala-bound bus registered with the Assam government.
The report claimed that as many as 16 victims were identified as residents of Tripura so far and five bodies had been kept in North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences morgue in Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya.
Officials in Tripura accused the police and the transport departments of both Assam and Meghalaya for allowing the bus to overload and carry excess passengers and added there were no enforcement against the drivers for driving after consuming liquor on NH-44.
“Thanks to inaction of Meghalaya police and enforcement authority, hundreds of hotels and restaurants are selling illegal liquor and a few of them running brothels that indulged the drivers to stop the vehicles at any point as they wish and in few cases complaints of the passengers had been neglected by police in Meghalaya,” officials alleged, adding the Tripura Government had taken up the issues with it’s Assam and Meghalaya counterparts a number of times.
They also stated that with the help of Assam police the bus drivers and staff had been off-loading goods transported all the way from Guwahati and Shillong before entering into Churaibari (border check-post of Assam and Tripura) and the issue of excess passengers were also not dealt with seriously.
“As many as six major road accidents happened in and around the same locations over the past two years and though the Meghalaya Government had promised to increase road vigil in the critical locations of the state, nothing has yet been done,” the officials pointed out.