In yet another tragic road accident, 6 people were killed while 40 others sustained injuries, 15 of them critically when the bus in which they were travelling plunged into a deep George in Doda district, this afternoon.
The ill-fated bus bearing registration number JK02G 5723 was on his way from Doda to Dhara, where on reaching Dedwana, the driver lost his control over the bus and it fell down into 250 feet deep George. The vehicle landed in the bottom of the gorge with big bang causing grievous injuries to all its occupants.
After getting informed the police party from police station Doda and Batote and Army rushed to the spot and launched the rescue operation which was also assisted by the locals of the area. After hectic efforts the rescue teams evacuate all the occupants of the bus and rushed them to district hospital Doda where doctors declared five of them as brought dead.
The deceased have been identified as Adiba daughter of Mohammed Shafi resident of Roti Pardana, Mohinder Singh son of Gardharai Lal resident of Bidwan, Mohd Shaid son of Mohd Shabir Dev resident of Zahind, Prithvi son of Brig Lal resident of Dhara and Gulam Hussain son of Abdul Rehman resident of Zealand, Gundana.
Commissioner Doda Bupinder Kumar, who was personally heading the rescue operation on the spot, said that the death toll may rise as condition was many injured was critical. Most of the victims were reported to be locals of Doda and all injured were shifted to District Hospital Doda where from ten were shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) Jammu for the specialized treatment.
According to the locals the bus driver was giving side to another vehicle as the road was narrow and in deplorable condition but as its tyre moved up on side, the portion of the road fell down and resulted into this tragedy. It is notable to mention here that because of the insensitivity of administration, roads in most of the hilly areas of the state have become death traps.
Almost every month a massive tragedy takes place on the roads leading to hilly districts of Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda. Hardly, there is a month when a tragedy of greater magnitudes does not take place on the Ramban-Doda-Kishtiwar Road.
It has almost become a ritual with the political leaders in power or in opposition to issue condolences on these tragedies and express sympathies with bereaved family. Nevertheless, fact of the matter is that so far nothing substantial has been done except ordering an inquiry into the accident and promising introduction of road safety schemes.
Every time people are killed in road accidents, the administration announces high-sounding traffic regulations only to be forgotten until next accident. True, corruption in the traffic department is abetting these accidents but prime cause is the bad and narrow roads.
Today accident sent shock waves throughout the Chenab valley, with MLA Bhaderwah Daleep Singh Parihar, MLA Doda Shakti Raj Parihar, MLC Naresh Kumar Gupta, expressing shock over the loss of human lives.
Meanwhile, PDP MLC Firdose Tak goes blunt……
“Am shocked and grieved over the tragic road mishap which claimed 7 lives and injuries to around 56 in Doda. The geography of the area may be beauty for some but it has over the years proved to monsters for us. The hills which provide timber to state is a death trap and the Chenab, believed to have hydro electric potential of around 20000 MWs, is a water grave for all of us”