In a letter to the Secretary, Punjab Civil Aviation Department, Sidhu has sought details of expenditure on the use of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft by the state government during the past one-and-half-year under the Right to Information (RTI).
With at least 60 people crushed by a speeding train in Amritsar and over 70 others injured, senior political figures including Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore and Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, visited the injured in hospitals in Amritsar on Saturday.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is expected to reach the hospital later on Saturday and meet the families of victims.
Badnore arrived early on Saturday and met the injured at the Guru Nanak Dev government hospital.
Talking to reporters, Badnore said, “This is a big tragedy. The doctors here are doing a good job in trying to save people.” State Education Minister and Amritsar legislator O.P. Soni was also present during the Governor’s visit.
Sidhu arrived at the hospital on Saturday morning accompanied by hordes of security personnel and officials. Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the Dusshera festival function where the tragedy took place near Jora Phatak area of Amritsar city on Friday evening.
Sidhu met the injured and their families in the hospital and assured all possible help from the government and the local administration.
The minister refused to talk to media.
The chief minister has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to those who died in the incident. The CM has also ordered an inquiry into the accident.
The toll is expected to go up.
The tragedy on Friday occurred when people, standing on a railway track, were watching an effigy of Ravan going up in flames as part of the Dussehra celebrations.
According to a Northern Railway spokesperson, the incident occurred at gate number 27 between Amritsar and Manawala, when a DMU (train number 74943) was crossing through the closed gate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs 2 lakh for the family of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Videos of the incident, clicked by those shooting burning of Ravan, indicated the speeding train passed through the area during the same time the effigy was going up in flames accompanied by a loud sound of the crackers exploding. Most of the people gathered there apparently did not hear the approaching train.
The Ravan effigy had been erected very close to the railway line at Joda Phatak in Amritsar, and a large number of people had assembled on and near the tracks to watch the Ravan vadh.