Mangaluru: The department of commercial taxes operates a checkpost at Kotekar Beeri on the outskirts where heavy lorries are always found lined up for verification and levy of tax.
There is no by lane provided with enough space to park heavy lorries. The widening of the highway is still in progress. Most lorries when parked occupy most part of the traffic lanes.
The checkpost had earlier operated at Talapadi but had been shifted to Kotekar where there is heavier movement of vehicles.
To make matters worse, as a rule, no lorry carries any hazard marks fitted on the rear side nor the tail lamps or parking lights happen to be in working condition. On a poorly lit highway, the parked vehicles cannot be spotted. This in most cases results in fatal mishaps.
Yet another young life was lost on a straight highway on account of bad planning of roads in the early hours of Wednseday. Zakaria (21), son of Is-haq of Talapadi, who was engaged in the catering profession, was on his way back from Mangaluru towards home around 2 am.
Failing to notice a heavy lorry parked in front of the checkpost, he rammed straight into it. He is said to have died on the spot. Sinan (18), who was in the pillion, was also severely injured and is being treated in a hospital in the city.
Angered by the incident, the relatives of the victims and members of some organizations led by Tulunada Rakshana Vedike laid siege to the commercial tax office, holding the parking of lorries to be responsible for such incidents.
Later on, local elected representatives held talks with the protesters and joint commissioner of commercial taxes. Pending completion of road-widening project, it was decided to put up barricades with hazard marks in an organized manner.