Srinagar: In what could be termed as a major gaffe by traffic authorities and relevant law enforcement agencies, the vehicle that overturned Thursday resulting into the death of eleven students was without route permit since August 10, 2017.
While an inquiry is going on, Tempo Traveller bearing Registration number JK12-3475 had been plying without ‘valid route permit’. “Not only the vehicle was without ‘valid route permit’ for more than two years now but ironically had a fitness certificate issued on its registration number- which otherwise is issued only once route permit is granted,” sources said.
A team member that visited the accident spot also expressed dissatisfaction over the issuance of the ‘fitness certificate’ after gauging the overall condition of the vehicle. “A fitness certificate issued 140 days ago was found near the vehicle. The condition of the vehicle was found such that it was unworthy to ply with its tyres worn out and condition of other parts was also found not upto standard,” officials privy to the investigation said.
However, when contacted ARTO Poonch Samrinder Singh Jamwal denied issuance of any certificate’ to the owner. While divulging the process to obtain the certificate, the official told GNS that “Once the route permit expires for any particular vehicle, the owner had to apply for renewal of the same within a period of 15 days. “There is nothing on record to show how and when the vehicle obtained the certificate.”
Reiterating his stance the official said that, “although the procedure has been switched from manual to online but our records show nothing how the certificate was obtained.”
Meanwhile aghast over the disclosure of facts, the locals have demanded a thorough enquiry into the matter. “We demand a thorough probe”, the locals said and demanded that all those involved into it should be brought to justice.”
Pertinent to mention here that a vehicle (tempo traveller) carrying students of a private computer learning centre travelling from Surankote to Dhobijan met an accident near Pir Ki Gali along the Mughal Road on Thursday which resulted in the death of 11 students, 9 of them girls, and injuries to 7 others of which two are still battling for life. (GNS)