The Telangana government received permission from the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday to disburse compensation to the victims of the tragic bus accident at Kondagattu in Jagtial district that took place in September and killed 62 people. Many were also injured in the mishap.
The state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) bus, carrying close to 100 passengers, fell off the Kondagattu Ghat Road while returning from the Anjaneya Swamy temple atop Kondagattu Hills, 190 km from the state capital, Hyderabad.
The government had promised to distribute an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 2.5 lakh each to those injured in the accident. The TSRTC had also announced Rs 3 lakh as ex-gratia for the families of the deceased.
The central EC, in a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana, said that the payment should be given directly to the victims and their families with no publicity for the event and with no involvement of any political functionary, according to media reports.
Following the accident, the state government suspended an official of the state road transport corporation and ordered an inquiry.
T Krishna Prasad, the DGP and Chairman of the Road Safety Authority, Telangana, who visited the spot and conducted a preliminary investigation had said earlier that they had instituted a crash resolution team consisting of officials from all departments including Police, Revenue, Transport, RTC and Roads and Buildings (R&B) to work out what happened and how it could have been prevented.
The state government needed the EC’s nod to distribute the compensation as the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for elections is in place in the state.
Caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao dissolved the Telangana Assembly on September 6 ahead of its term and expressed his wish to go for an early elections. Since then, the EC has announced that the voting will be held on December 7 and the counting will take place on December 11.