Bad road due to cement factory's overloaded dumpers led to MP

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bus tragedy: CPI(M) Bhopal,Feb 18 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday alleged that poor condition of the road caused by overloaded dumpers of a cement factory led to the bus tragedy in Sidhi district of the state two days back, in which 51 people died.

CPM's state secretary Jaswinder Singh alleged that privatisation and greed for profit was responsible for the accident.

The accident took place on Tuesday morning near Patna village, about 80 km from the Sidhi district headquarters, when the bus heading from Sidhi to Satna fell into the canal, which is part of the Bansagar dam project.

Sources had said that the bus had diverted from its permitted route to avoid traffic jams.

In a press release, Singh said that the ill-fated bus took the narrow and bumpy sideroad of the canal as the permitted pathway had been witnessing traffic jams since a week due to the potholes caused by overloaded dumpers of a cement factory.

The party sought that in order to punish the real culprits, a probe should be launched into the permitted but pothole-ridden route, saying that this condition of the road was caused by the private company's overloaded trucks.

The trucks and dumpers were overloaded to save royalty (cess). A dumper has to carry the load within the permissible limit, like one tonne or so, for which royalty is paid to the government, Singh alleged.

'But the dumpers plying on that road ferried more than the permissible quantity unlawfully to save royalty by burning a hole in the pocket of the government and ruining the road,' he alleged.

Meanwhile, according to local residents, traffic on the designated road had come to a virtual standstill three days before the bus the tragedy, after a truck had overturned on it.

There were also reports that people had earlier protested and blocked the road, seeking that plying of dumpers on it should be stopped.

After the bus accident, the designated route has been cleared completely.

'Traffic movement there is on again,' Sidhi Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kumawat told PTI, adding that the road would be repaired.

The CPM release also alleged that efforts were on to divert the attention as wrong things were being done due to the political patronage.

'Neither the chief minister and nor any minister is ready to resign by taking the responsibility of the accident,' the CPM release said.

It added that the mafia has a complete sway over the entire government.

'After the MP Road Transport Corporation was handed over to the private players, 90 per cent owners of the buses are BJP leaders. That is why the fitness (to ply) of the vehicles is being overlooked,' it said.

State BJP spokespreson Pankaj Chaturvedi, however, termed the CPM's allegations as 'baseless'.

'The government is taking action against those guilty,' he said.

The state government has already said that no guilty will be spared, Chaturvedi added.

The CPM also demanded that the family of the deceased should get financial aid of Rs 20 lakh and one of its members should be given a government job. It also said that the injured should get Rs 5 lakh each.

The central and the state government have paid Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh to families of the deceased respectively.

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