Today`s Times of India carries a news report on its ist page under the title`Potholes killed 3597 in 2017,terror 813`.I wondered,whether the figures for all over India were correct! The way our roads both in urban areas in particular & rural areas in general are pock-marked with potholes,chipped surfaces, missing & unevenly placed manholes for days/months together, the numbers reported,to my mind seemed lower.But ,in any case, if one goes by the reported number, it is horrendously high for the simple reason,that it is, because of sheer negligence of assigned duties on the part of the concerned officials/engineers/contractors?!
Tragedies, many many of which would not have occured, if concerned stakeholders/officials would have faithfully performed their assigned duties!The report is about fatalaties. What about serious injuries caused to many road users?What would have been/is the plight of their[hapless persons involved in accidents] nears & dears?Have the concerned persons/officials ever given a thought?what about, God forbid,if one of their close-ones could have been the victim of the gross carelessness?
In sheer numbers, as per the TOI report,UP tops the list with 987 deaths,Maharashtra,726,Haryana 522 & Gujarat 228.there are numbers for other States,too. Eight people died in Delhi due to pothole related accidents,in 2017,All this due to apathy,corrupt practices, `chalta hai` attitude & inefficiencies,lack of system in supervision in/with municipal & road-owning authorities.
Faulty design of roads,poor maintenance & carelessness in rapidly fixing the recurring problems, are some of the many reasons for this malaise.
It is also learnt from TOI news that Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill which might address many of the concerned issues regarding road-safety was stuck in Parliament due to frequent disruption in proceedings???!!!
The proposed `to be amended` legislation though does not clearly spell out ,how to BOOK the [culprit] authorities.
The routine acts of the authorities to award some cash [2-5 lakhs] compensation to the hapless victims/their dependants ,is a mockery of monumental kind , which cannot be described in words?As Misery,to my mind ,is beyond any measure.
It needs HUMAN touch/care.
Why these things keep on occuring day in day out in various cities/places? Reasons-No harsh/punitive actions,lack of moral/professional ethics/education/skills & non-implementation of regulations.
Dilution of sensitivity is another reason?It is a sad fact, that instead of helping the victims, onlookers get busy making videos etc or keep waiting for the Police to arrive instead of rushing the victims to the hospitals~ Very SAD state of affairs in our country.
There is no respect for pedestrian crossings,traffic lights!What is preventing the authorities to be strict & have honest /diligent implementers of the law?!
Readers may share their action-plans.This is in the INTEREST of all,including the readers.
Vijay K. Saluja
Giraffe Heroes India
Former Chief Engineer,New Delhi Municipal Council
Past President,IIT Delhi Alumni Association
Senior Fellow-ISS New Delhi