Meghalaya to take action against those violating MV Act

Shillong, Aug 13 : Meghalaya government is contemplating stringent legal action against travel agencies and night bus operators found violating provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act like drunk driving, overloading, officials said today.

The decision was taken in the wake an overloaded bus plummeting down a deep gorge in East Jaintia Hills district killing 30 people and injuring 27.

I have directed the police to conduct checking on all buses plying along the NH-44 for any violation of the Motor Vehicle Act like drunk driving and overloading,” East Jaintia Hills district deputy commissioner A Bhagotia told PTI.

He said, the district administration would also be writing to all tour operators/travel agencies to furnish the names and contact numbers of all passengers in their vehicles at least in two locations in the district.

Night buses will be checked at the entry point at Ratacherra for those approaching from Silchar towards Guwahati and at Khliehriat for Mizoram and Tripura-bound vehicles plying towards Silchar, Bhagotia said. Besides, the NHAI would also be asked to put signboards all along the national highway having the helpline number and the contact number of the nearest police stations.

The district administration has also asked for more alcohol testing kits for the purpose of checking drunk drivers, the official said. Meanwhile, 25 bodies have been identified and despatched to their respective homes in Bihar, Haryana.

An FIR was lodged against the driver of the bus and the travel agency which owns a fleet of night buses plying to all states in the north east, Bhagotia said. Thirty people died when a Tripura-bound overloaded bus rolled down the steep gorge in Tamseng village along the NH 44 in East Jaintia Hills district on August 8.