Expressing shock and grief over the Sirhind bus tragedy, union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Thursday questioned the inordinate and unexplained delay in completion of the six-laning project of the Panipat-Jalandhar national highway, which is the "main cause of tragic accidents leading to many deaths."
In a statement issued here, Tewari said most of the accidents along this stretch were taking place primarily because of incomplete roads.
"While the fall of the bus into the Bhakra canal was a major accident, a number of accidents take place every day along the 300-km stretch, leading to deaths of scores of people which usually do not get noticed," the minister alleged, assuring that he would take up the matter with the union surface transport minister.
Tewari said the construction company which had got the contract for the six-laning project needed to be asked why it had missed so many deadlines. He said the project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2011, but it was still far from finished.
He pointed out that the company was charging toll tax from vehicles all these years, adding that the toll charges had more than doubled ever since the company took charge of the project.
"There is no reason for the company to delay the project when it has already been charging toll tax. We cannot let our people die just because the company wants to make more money," he added