Bhubaneswar: The state government Monday suspended four engineers of two departments for the Ganjam bus tragedy in which 10 people were electrocuted and burnt to death, Energy Minister DS Mishra said.
The four engineers – two of them from the energy department and another two from the rural development department were charged with dereliction of duty, he said. Mishra said those suspended were the Berhampur electrical division junior and assistant engineers and rural development department junior and assistant engineers.
The incident took place Sunday afternoon when a bus with about 40 passengers on board came in contact with an 11 KV live wire at Golanthara in Ganjam district. He said the bus was about 12 feet high including the luggage carrier atop it. It hit the live wire which was about 11 feet from the ground. The height of 11 KV wires should be at least 20 ft above the ground. The circle executive engineers will identify the vulnerable spots where wires are hanging below the required level, the minister said and directed officials to ensure that all hanging wires be raised to the standard height. A special workshop will be organised to ensure safety measures are followed by all departments concerned, Mishra said.
Meanwhile, a blame game started between departments as Southco authorities held the rural development department responsible. It said the rural development department had converted the rural road to a concrete road raising its height by 3-4 ft and reducing ground clearance of the road. Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera blamed the energy department and the bus driver for the mishap. He said a detailed probe is being initiated to ascertain whether the bus had the route permit.