**Cuttack: ** As Odisha Government has already ordered for a probe by the Cuttack Regional Transport Office (RTO) into the tragic bus accident on Tuesday evening in which 10 persons were killed and over 50 seriosuly injured, a committee comprising MVI, NHAI technical team, Tata company technical team, bus representatives and Jagatpur Police Station IIC began probe to find out the actual reason behind the fatal mishap.
Odisha Transport Minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu had informed yesterday that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already ordered for a probe by the RTO soon after the tragedy in which the private bus bound to Cuttack from Talcher fell off the Mahanadi Bridge after running over a stray buffalo on the bridge.
Talking to media, Cuttack MVI Rashmi Ranjan Dalabehera said, “The team had 4 of our staff, NHAI technical team 3 members, technical team 2 members from Tata company and 2 representatives of bus.”
State Road Safety Council Member Rabi Satpathy said, “In my 30 years of experience, we observed that the bus has no fault as all its tyres are good, it has fitness certificate, it has speed governor for which it can’t exceed maximum speed of 80 kmph. The body of the vehicle is also strong as it mere two and half years old.”
“The causes of the accident we assume are that of saving the buffalo and secondly, the bridge is pretty old. It is a weak bridge. Its side-wall broke down easily for which the bus fell off. The NHAI is not taking any precautionary measures against the stray animals on the highways. There is also no light on the old bridge,” he observed.
He also added, “The driver is has an experience of 50 years. Hence, the experienced driver when tried to save the buffalo, the bus rammed into the side-wall of the weak bridge for which this accident has been caused.”
The owner of the ill-fated bus Dilip Pani said, “All documents of the bus are okay. The bus is two and half years old. The bus was completely fit and fine before the mishap. There wasn’t overloading.”
“As the bus has been fitted with brake on nail system, it wasn’t on high speed. It it crosses maximum speed 60 kmph, it will automatically drop down. Hence, the bus might not have been on high speed. The accident was caused in a bid to save the stray buffalo,” he argued.
On the general objection against no enough time gap allowed to the plying of buses, the owner of the ill-fated bus replied, “In our route, the time gap between two buses is of 10 minutes duration.”
When asked why the bus plied on the old bridge where heavy vehicle is prohibited, the owner defended, “The passage over the bridge is not fully prohibited as other heavy vehicles are also plying.”