Ganjam bus tragedy: Eerie silence at Dankalpadu where 10 residents lost lives

Politicians’ visit brought little respite to the villagers who are still numb by the mishap.

Published: 11th February 2020 09:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2020 10:53 AM   |  A+A-

The house of U Ashok Reddy, who was supposed to get married on Tuesday, at Dankalpadu village

The house of U Ashok Reddy, who was supposed to get married on Tuesday, at Dankalpadu village | Express

Express News Service

BERHAMPUR:  An uneasy calm prevailed at Dankalpadu village which lost 10 of its residents in a tragic mishap at Mendrajpur chowk within Golanthara police limits on Sunday. The decorations at the house of the groom U Ashok Reddy fluttered in the wind but there was no movement within nor around. It appeared as if the whole village had fallen into a state of stupor, numbed by the tragedy. Ashok was to get married to G Padma of Chikarada village on Tuesday, but cruel fate not only shattered his dream but also snatched away his two sisters.

Ashok’s father Sanyasi Reddy, an OPTCL employee, struggled to speak as words choked in his throat. “I was supposed to board the bus with my two daughters Sandhya and Mohini and their kids but I stayed back to pickup some materials. I was about to leave on a motorcycle when the shocking news came in. We were to add a new member to our family in a day’s time but we have lost two,” he said.

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Sanyasi’s neighbour Santoshini Sahu along with her younger brother Dileswar had also boarded the bus to attend the ceremony. While someone threw Dileswar out of a window of the vehicle, Santoshini was not fortunate enough and was electrocuted. Her mother Sabita could not believe her daughter, a student of Class VI at the village UP School is no more. The school was open on the day. But attendance was nil. 
Similar is the plight of Rameya Reddy’s family. Rameyya, who had lost his son Gopal in a road mishap in 2013, was one of those who could not survive the mishap. 

Leaders of various political parties along with social workers reached the village to console the bereaved families. Local MLA Usha Devi also reached the village and distributed Rs 10,000 each from Red Cross fund among the families of the deceased. However, their visit had little impact on the grief-stricken villagers. While yesterday, all were busy with cremation of the deceased and attending to the injured, on Monday most were seen sitting speechless in their homes. Many families even did not cook food.

ALSO READ: Condolences not enough in odisha

Meanwhile, officials of Southco, Revenue department and local police visited the mishap spot on the day to conduct probe into the incident. The police are in search of the driver and cleaner of the bus, who fled the spot after the mishap.Sources said four of the nine injured persons, undergoing treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital were discharged in the evening.

Southco report blames RD dept
Power utility Southco is reported to have blamed Rural Development department over the issue of sagging 11 KV line which led to the electrocution of 10 persons at Mendrajpur in Rangeilunda block of Ganjam district. All those who died were travelling in the bus when the vehicle came in contact with the overhead live wire. The preliminary report of Southco maintained that Rural Development department had converted the rural road to a concrete one by almost filling 3 ft to 4 ft and causing less ground clearance of the said road in 2018.

“In this connection, the Executive Engineer BED-III, Berhampur framed an estimate and submitted it to the Executive Engineer, Ganjam RD Division, Berhampur on July 4, 2018. Moreover, Biswa Ranjan Mohapatra, SDO Kanisi has been constantly pursuing the matter with the RD department for depositing the estimated amount to take up the work immediately on safety ground. However, further inquiry will be carried out to take suitable action against the employees of Southco, if at all found guilty,” the report. However, Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera had blamed the Energy department and bus driver for the mishap. 

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