A road-safety organisation has asked for action against the officials responsible for not installing side railings on a bridge from where a car had fallen off into water near Ajnala in Amritsar district on November 19, resulting in 10 deaths.
The non-government organisation (NGO), ArriveSAFE, has written to the Ajnala station house officer SHO and Amritsar (rural) senior superintendent of police to ask them to file an additional charge sheet in the first-information report (FIR).
It wants the executive engineer, subdivisional engineer and junior engineer of the local public works department (PWD) charged under Sections 304-A (causing death by negligence not amounting to culpable homicide) and 337 (causing hurt by endangering the life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The NGO has mailed copies of the letter to Punjab's director general of police (DGP) and chief minister as well. ArriveSAFE highlighted in the complaint that the bridge was without the side railing that was mandatory under the Indian Road Safety Guidelines.
"The PWD is duty bound to ensure that the roads and bridges are in proper condition so that accidents are reduced to minimum. It is criminal on part of the officials not to put up the mandatory crash barrier on the bridge that could have saved 10 lives," the NGO has written.
Inquiry on, says Amritsar DC
No official has, so far, been held accountable for the tragedy on the Ajnala bridge. "However, an inquiry is on at the level of the subdivisional magistrate (SDM)," said Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat, when asked to react.
"The PWD, Mandi Board and other government agencies responsible for maintaining roads and bridges in the district have instruction to do their job well," he added.