Srinivas Papani, a civil engineer and father of missing student Ridhima, alleged that both - the institute and the tour operator, are responsible for the tragic incident leading to the death of his daughter along with 23 other students. Srinivas was speaking to HT at Pandoh Dam on Tueday.
Srinivas said that he was a civil engineer and during his educational tour, due to presence of senior faculty members, discipline was well maintained and no student disobeyed their teachers.
“But here the institute sends young teachers to accompany the students and due to the age factor these teachers develop friendship with students. It was the reason leading to this tragedy,” he said.
He added that he was surprised to see that there was no safety norms being adopted by the state government along the highway. There is no facilities of toilets and information centres along the most busiest Chandigarh-Manali national highway, especially from Mandi to Manali, he said.
He added that absence of toilets along the road could be the other reason why students asked the tour operators to stop the bus and reached near the Beas river.
He said that the tour operators were not professionals and they delayed the bus to reach Manali on June 8, citing the loss of keys at Mandi.
“Tour operators then took help of a mechanic to solve the problem at Mandi and this took more than two hours and this delayed the journey to Manali and the students stopped at Thalout area to view the scenic beauty prior to sunset,” said he.
“My daughter informed me that these people (tour operators) were handling things unprofessionally and they were not well prepared to provide them the services and facilities they had committed when the tour was planned in Hyderabad” he said.
Srinivas said that he would wait here for three-four days to see her daughter's body. He appreciated the efforts of the local authorities at Mandi.