RAIPUR: A road between Dhanora and Orchha in the restive district of Narayanpur, some 300 km from Raipur in Chhattisgarh, is now being perceived as “too risky” by private bus operators after passengers of a bus on Friday had a miraculous escape when it got stuck in a 10-feet deep and 15-feet long crater-like structure in the middle of road.
The driver and the conductor sustained injuries in the incident and were rushed to the hospital. Inside the bus, there were about 15 passengers who escaped unhurt.
In the recent weeks, Maoists after evacuating passengers have set ablaze two private buses plying between Dhanora and Orchha.
Often the routes are blocked by the rebels who either stop buses on the pretext of checking or place hurdles on the roads.
“The Maoists are not behind this incident. It appears to be an error by the contractor engaged in road construction work. The wide patch on the under-construction road apparently caved-in when the loose soil washed away due to heavy rains. We will conduct an inquiry. There were no precautionary work zone signs or flags to alert bus drivers. Fortunately, the passengers escaped unhurt," Narayanpur superintendent of police Santosh Singh told the New Indian Express.
This is the only road that connects Nayaranpur district headquarters to Orchha, close to the Maoist stronghold of Abujhmaad.
“Whatever the reasons, the passengers will now become more apprehensive travelling on buses along this route," private bus operator Manish Deshlehre said.
Hardly six-eight buses ply on the route throughout the day. There is no movement of buses after 10 pm, the SP stated, adding that road construction along the route got delayed due to the negligent attitude of the contractor.
Narayanpur is one of the seven worst Maoist-affected districts in the conflict zone of Bastar, south Chhattisgarh.