Mangaluru: On the outset, on behalf of Team Mangalorean I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members of the victims who perished in the ghastly accident that took place few days ago, when a lorry which supposedly had a brake fail crushed a car and a two-wheeler, resulting in three deaths, and seriously injuring three more. This accident or the deaths could have been prevented, if the officials of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the local traffic/police department had taken some safety measures long time ago.The death of three persons at this Junction on last Friday evening, in an accident has brought back the question of safety of motorists at this busy junction.
Government school teacher Veena, aged 40, her son Nitish P, aged 13, and a motorcyclist Preetam Pinto died in that accident after a tipper lorry hit a crane, a car and the motorcycle. Veena and her children Nitesh and Nikita were in the car driven by her husband Krishna Naik, a headmaster in Kendriya Vidyalaya-1 in Panambur. Krishna Naik and his daughter were admitted to the hospital with severe injuries, who are now recovering. The bodies of Veena and Nithish were cremated in Manjeshwar, without the knowledge of Krishna Naik (so that Krishna won’t get more depressed while recovering in hospital). I bet it surely will be difficult for Krishna Naik to bear the loss of his wife and son once he finds out.
Yet another sad story is about Shwetha D’Souza who was riding pillion with her fiance Preetham Pinto, a sales representative from Kasaragod.. A paramedical student, Shwetha has suffered elbow injuries in this accident. According to her family members, after gaining consciousness on Saturday morning she has been asking about Preetham, whom she was to marry soon. Family members from both Preetham and Shwetha’s side are all devastated. It’s really sad to note that the people who died in this accident didn’t deserve death so quick, because of the negligence of the lorry driver, and also because of the slow action taken by the concerned traffic authorities in finding a solution in order to avoid accidents at this notable “Nanthoor Junction ” of accidents/casualties/deaths.
It is learned since May 2014 three ghastly accidents had taken place at Nanthoor Junction, where five persons have died and fifteen have been injured, of which some are still undergoing treatment for their serious injuries. In spite of these accidents, officials of NHAI and traffic department had remained numb by not taking any measures to see that traffic moves freely without any accidents. According to report published in The Hindu newspaper, following an accident in May 2014 in which two persons were grievously injured and another in November 2014 in which two persons died after a bus overturned, the Traffic Police had issued notice to the National Highways Authority of India seeking explanation on why they should not take action against the authority for not taking any measures to smoothen traffic movement at the junction.
This has led the NHAI to widen either sides of the road between Padua School and Nantoor Junction. An extra lane was also being prepared for vehicles going from Kadri to Padua School and for those coming towards the junction from Padua School, which would solve at least 30 per cent of the problem, according to traffic police. But the best solution to avoid all that congestion/accidents at this junction is to construct an underpass and a flyover, which citizens think is direly needed. Finally, after all these accidents and deaths, DC AB Ibrahim and concerned officials of NHAI and Traffic Police Department have finally woken up and had visited the spot, and have come up with solutions to prevent future disasters taking place at Nanthoor Junction. They should have thought of all these safety measures long back- anyways, better late than never, I suppose!
According to DC who has listed out some steps to make Nanthoor Junction safe within the next three to four days are : shifting the present bus-stop for vehicles going towards KPT junction further near Ullas wine shop; the wide medians would be trimmed to create more space to negotiate the big roundabout; the road leading to the junction from KPT would be made two-lane to make the left turns towards Bikarnakatte easy; Bevy of flower vendors near the junction will be banned from doing business.MCC Commissioner Hephsiba said that the problem will be solved soon; Mud stored on the side of the dividers will be cleared; Speed breakers will be erected and two lanes will be made for the smooth flow of traffic.
Also according to The Deputy Commissioner, construction of an underpass was a permanent solution to the problem at the junction, and that an official of the National Highways Authority of India has said the Rs. 53-crore underpass proposed to take on the traffic on the national highway was pending with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. So until then motorists, as well as commuters will have to keep their fingers crossed and wait patiently till traffic problems are solved at the Nanthoor Junction.
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