Even as the bus accident on the National Highway near Kothakota in Mahabubnagar district stunned people, a preliminary investigation has revealed that the bus was registered in the name of J.C. Uma Reddy, a close relative of former Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy.
The Volvo 9400 B9R bus was registered in the name of Diwakar Roadlines, represented by Ms. Uma Reddy as an All India Tourist Bus (Contract Carriage) on October 6, 2010. It was leased out to Shakeel Ahmed of Jabbar Travels a year later and a No-Objection Certificate was issued by the RTA, Anantapur on November 27, 2011 to the operator to run the bus bearing no. AP-02-TA-0963.
The name transfer though, was not effected. As a consequence, it has been running in the name of Diwakar Roadlines, with a permit issued by Karnataka, valid till November 2, 2016.
Although the vehicle’s registration papers permit it to carry only 45 people (43 passengers + two drivers, or a combination of one driver and an assistant), it was revealed that there were at least 52 people on board. The break-up includes 45 bodies extricated from the wreck, five people who were shifted to hospital, the driver and his assistant.
The onus of ensuring compliance with rules is on the Transport Department here or in adjoining Karnataka. And such a situation was something that clearly required strict monitoring and regulation, according to Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana.
On Wednesday afternoon, he reviewed the accident with senior officials of the department including Principal Secretary D. Lakshmi Parthasarathy, Commissioner G. Anantha Ramu and Additional Commissioner P. Srinivas and ordered an enquiry.