Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
File photo

Taking strict action against careless officers over the Sidhi bus accident, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has suspended four officials and announced a significant reward for the trio who saved the lives of people involved in the bus accident. The announcement was made late on Wednesday night.

As of Wednesday evening, the death toll in the incident has increased to 51 and three are still missing.

The CM visited the accident spot in Sidhi and met families of the victims on Wednesday, as well as undertaking a meeting with officials at Sidhi. "It is a very tragic incident. I wanted to reach the spot and meet the bereaved families on Tuesday, but it could have affected the rescue operation," Chouhan told reporters.

The CM in the meeting suspended the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) of Sidhi district and three officials of the MP Road Development Corporation (MPRDC). The divisional manager of MPRDC, MK Jain, AGM Amit Nagesh and Manager BP Tiwari has been suspended. The Rewa RTO, who had the charge of Sidhi was also suspended by the CM.

"I am suspending MPRDC's divisional manager, AGM and manager," Chouhan told reporters at Sidhi on Wednesday night.

"Sixty-two passengers were traveling in a 32-seater bus. Who was responsible for this? So the concerned RTO is also being suspended. Action will be taken against others who are responsible for the incident too," he added.

The state has announced rewards of Rs 5 lakh each for three persons, including a young woman, who saved the lives of the passengers in the bus. The CM announced rewards for local residents Shivrani, Lavkush Lunia and an official named Satyendra Sharma for rescuing at least six people after the bus fell in the water.

The bus heading to Satna from Sidhi had fallen in the Bansagar canal on the early hours of Tuesday. On Tuesday the rescue work was kept going till the evening, only being put on hold as darkness fell. On the day, 47 bodies had been fished out from the canal.

On Wednesday, the rescue and search operation was once again started and four more bodies were fished out, including the body of a five month old girl.

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