Puducherry: Puducherry Government on Tuesday scaled up the number of injured to 141 from 30 in a mishap involving a bus carrying school students under a free scheme and said a detailed inquiry has been ordered into the gross overloading of the vehicle.
  
Taking a serious view of such large number of children being packed into the bus which overturned claiming one life and injuring others on Monday, Chief Minister N Rangsamy said strong action would be taken against the fleet operators for violating permit conditions.
  
A 12-year-old girl was killed and 141 others were injured when the bus engaged on contract basis under the government's free transport scheme overturned near here last evening.
  
The bus was carrying the students of a government school in Manamedu when the driver lost control at Kaduvanoor village. Police had on Monday put the number of injured at 30 while parents had alleged the bus carried more than 200 students.
  
Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference after visiting the injured children, Rangasamy said a detailed inquiry had been ordered and action would be taken against the fleet owner for carrying more than the permitted limit.
  
The government would also take action against all those responsible for the poor maintenance of the vehicle.   

Replying to a question, he said the government would also take action against fleet operators who were not operating the services despite permits sanctioned to them under the scheme.  

Officials said normally two buses are operated in the particular route covering villages in the belt, but only one vehicle was run on Monday, leading to the overloading.
  
Rangasamy announced a solatium of Rs two lakhs to the girl's family. The government would also provide a cash relief of Rs 10,000 each to three children who suffered fractures and Rs 5,000 each to 138 children treated as either inpatients or outpatients at a government hospital. AIADMK demanded that the government pay a relief of Rs five lakhs to the bereaved family of the girl.
   
Party's Puducherry unit secretary A Anbalagan, MLA, told reporters that it was mind boggling that the bus had carried such large number of children and demanded an explanation from Transport and Police departments.

There should be a thorough review of the condition of private buses being used on contract basis for transport of the school children, he added. 

(Agencies)