The NH Roads To Hell! Blame NHAI Officials for Death of Newly Wedded Couple in Accident
The NH Roads To Hell! Blame NHAI Officials and their unscientific NH for Death of Newly Wedded Couple in Accident that took place on Tuesday, 27 October 2020 near Thokkuttu flyover junction. And Today, Police Commissioner Vikash Kumar Vikash had visited the accident spot, and discussed the issue with NAHI officials and Navayug Company officials. (Newly-wed couple Die in Tragic Road Accident at Thokkottu )
Mangaluru: I have traveled many parts of the world, but compared to National Highways in other foreign countries, Indian NH/roads are undoubtedly the most dangerous in the world. Why talk about the National Highways through out India, when right here in Dakshina Kannada including Mangaluru, there are a bunch of NH roads which definitely pose danger to motorists, resulting in accidents leading to deaths or injuries. Apart from the spot in which the newly married couple died near Thokkuttu flyover, while the bike rider was making a turn, similar such accident prone spots are there at many other places, like the one in front of Padua High School, among others. And in spite of many accidents taking place at those spots, nothing has been done by the concerned officials.
Ryan and Priya Fernandes- May Their Souls Rest In Peace!
Roads are considered a sign of development bringing colossal benefits to a community as socioeconomic and logistic facilitator. Yet, growth of road networks has brought road crashes leading to civic pain from premature deaths of productive age groups. As per reports, like in 2017, 16 citizens were killed and 53 injured every hour on Indian roads as per officially reported data, while a fair number go unreported. This is unacceptably high when compared with international standards. The authorities of Indian roadways should have made roads safer for all citizens because a large percentage of the population – children, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and the elderly – are most vulnerable. But unfortunately, that has not been done, thus we are seeing all these accidents, with many young and old lives lost.
The problem here in India, no one cares for the lives of the motorists, especially the engineers and contractors who are at the helm of constructing these roads. If such unscientific roads were designed in Gulf or Western countries, the NHAI would have been sued and the officials fired from jobs. But here it’s like Chalta hai and who cares? In order to match the standards of foreign roads, probably we may need another 500 years or so? Team Mangalorean had done two reports on the Thokkuttu flyover junction spot, and had even sent the articles to the concerned authorities of Indian Road dept/NHAI, but seems like they have turned all turned a blind eye- and so we are still seeing accidents and people losing lives.
Highway is meant for maintaining a certain speed limit, expecting the traffic of highways to stop for crossing of local traffic is a foolish thought. The problem is that there are no proper authorities or officials to question. And we all being ‘Smart People’ seems like we have no brains, or even courage to take the NHAI for a task and straighten them. Looking at the spot where Ryan and Priya died in that fatal accident shows what kind of idiots had designed such a senseless intersection/cross road. Several times many motorists had narrow escapes at the very spot, say locals. Therefore, concerned authorities are totally irresponsible and are indirectly guilty of these deaths.
One may ask as to where did these engineers get their training to come up with a crazy idea to give a cross road where any driver would be totally confused, when there is a heavy flow of traffic. And for that matter, a few months ago MLA U T Khader knew about the controversy of providing such an intersection and he failed to convince the authorities not to have the crossroad as it is now. And see the result of the delay in rectifying the issue- two young lives lost, and many more will be losing their lives, if no action is taken. Locals who use this road everyday say that this poorly designed road is a deathtrap since long. In spite of unscientific barricades erected (which is a dumb idea, looking at more accidents) vehicles zoom by at high speeds, and vehicles turning towards Ullal from the road below flyover face a lot of problems, and risk.
And even though our City police commissioner Vikas Kumar Vikash on Wednesday October 28, visited the spot at Thokkottu in the city, to do an inspection on the spot where the newly wed couple died in an tragic accident, the Commissioner held discussion with Navyug company officials and NHAI officials and directed them to take immediate safety measures, so that no more accidents take place and lives lost. The Police Commissioner also directed the Navyug officials to use service roads to make the life of commuters safer. He also visited Ullal over bridge and surveyed the road approach, after which he discussed the matter with DCP of the traffic police Nagaraj and urged him to take necessary action at the earliest.
The best way to replace all road crossings on National Highway corridors is with road overbridges/underbridges- but unfortunately we are seeing that, instead they are placing barricades on highways to cut down the speed of the moving traffic- a total DUMB and STUPID idea- whatsover. Our NHAI officials should take a trip to foreign countries and learn some basic ideas, and then implement them here, so we all can drive, ride and live safely. And the best part is that, India, despite having over 250 million registered vehicles, does not have a national road safety policy. The only legislation to deal with road safety is the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. An amendment was proposed to the law to ensure children’s safety while commuting, increase penalties in line with inflation, ensure liability of road contractors, digitize the licensing system and to recall old vehicles that do not adhere to safety norms. It was passed in the Lok Sabha in 2017, but faced opposition. How nice?
Also apart from motorists, Pedestrians, mostly elderly people and children, continue to cross the busy NH stretches, risking their lives and crossing the road, resulting in accidents. Blinkers to warn speeding motorists is available only at U-turns, many of which are located away from junctions. Neither have adequate numbers of mandatory sign boards been erected to warn motorists of pedestrian-dense areas. All these force people to jaywalk, only to lead to accidents. NHAI and the police have failed to prevent accidents at some of the NH junctions we are seeing in DK/Mangaluru, despite memorandum submitted by residents’ associations and political parties, and also lots of complaints.
And with this accident which took away the lives of two young souls in a freak accident, I hope the concerned officials of NHAI would wake up from their long nap and come up with safety measures in making our National Highway safer for motorists and also pedestrians. The NHAI should do improvement regarding engineering aspects of the road and allied infrastructure. Safety measures on service roads should also be improved.
I end this column with a condolence message from Rev Fr Richard Coelho, the Director of Father Muller Charitable Institutions, Mangaluru (both Rayan and Priya Fernandes were employed at Fr Muller Hospital) – “It’s unbelievable and unimaginable that Rayan and Priya are no more with us. Both of them after their work met with this tragic accident..May the Good Lord grant them Eternal rest. May their Parents be consoled by the Lord and be strengthened to bear this great loss.Both of them were sincere and hardworking. May they rest in peace