SILCHAR, June 17 - The Silchar-Guwahati road on NH-6 has turned into a death trap for the commuters from Barak Valley.
According to a report issued from the office of the Deputy Commissioner, a total of 42 persons have died in accidents on the route since January 1 last. As many as 10 people died in a similar accident in January earlier this year.
The Cachar district administration has taken a tough stance on the movement of buses on the Silchar-Guwahati route, banning carriers on the rooftops of the tourist buses and made breath analyser tests of the drivers mandatory and sealing of the side bunkers of the buses. This move has come after the tragic bus mishap at Sonapur on NH-6 which claimed over 30 lives and left others with grave injuries on Tuesday.
In an order issued on Thursday, the Cachar Deputy Commissioner, who is also the chairman of the district disaster management authority has categorically banned travel on the rooftops and made wearing of uniforms a must for the bus drivers. The order also stated that the breath analyser tests will be conducted on regular basis and reports should be submitted every week to the Magistry Branch of the DC�s office. Further, the order contains a number of specific instructions for the bus owners and transport officials. Also, the DTO Silchar and Divisional Superintendent of ASTC, ISBT Ramnagar Silchar will submit weekly reports to the District Emergency Operation Centre.
�I am deeply saddened at the tragic demise of over 30 passengers on the bus which fell into a gorge on Tuesday night. There is an increasing trend of road accidents of tourist buses on NH-6 to reach Guwahati. Overloading in the passenger buses is a major reason for accidents, besides the deplorable road condition. As per Section 30.2 sub Sections (v) and xviii) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, directions are issued to the travel agencies, the Cachar District Transport Officer and Divisional Superintendent of ASTC, ISBT Ramnagar which must be adhered to without fail,� Vishwanathan said.
He also mentioned that the order shall come into force with immediate effect and any non-compliance of the directions shall lead to punitive action under Section 51 of the Act.