Jharkhand government on Tuesday constituted a high powered panel to investigate the cable car tragedy at Trikut Hills in Deoghar district which claimed the lives of three persons and over 60 others had to be rescued, officials said.
The committee will submit its report in two months and its chairperson can invite any expert of any institution in the country to help in the probe into the April 10 tragedy, a notification by Jharkhand tourism department said.
The four-member panel will be headed by the principal secretary to the finance department, Ajay Kumar Singh, tourism secretary Amitabh Kaushal, representative nominated by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation and from Indian Institute of Technology (ISM), Dhanbad.
The notification said that the ropeway machine operated at Trikut Hills by Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation Ltd had stopped functioning on April 10 due to 'unknown reasons' and the trolleys stopped moving.
This led to some of the trolleys to collide against the hills.
The operation of the ropeway could not resume after this and forced the district administration to take help from the National Disaster Response Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force, Indian Army and Indian Air Force to evacuate tourists from the trolleys.
The Deoghar administration last week sealed the ropeway site where three people were killed while being rescued by helicopters which flew more than 26 hours during the evacuation operation.
All the other 60 tourists were safely evacuated on April 12 in a marathon rescue operation after being stranded for over 46 hours.
The Trikut ropeway, according to the Jharkhand tourism department, is India's highest vertical ropeway. It is around 766-metre long.
The district administration has asked Damodar Ropeways and Infra Ltd, which ran the cable car service, to maintain status quo of the place to facilitate the probe into the accident.
Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC) Ltd has issued an order to suspend adventure sports activities at Hundru, Jonha and Panchghag waterfalls till further orders, an official release said.
The Jharkhand government on Monday handed over cheques of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of those who died in the ropeway tragedy.
DRIL had announced compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the next of kin of each dead in the accident.
The Jharkhand high court has taken suo motu cognizance of Deoghar ropeway incident and has ordered an inquiry into the matter.