Will Issue Notice to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) Seeking its Version on the NH 66 Pothole Accident Death of a 69-year-old Titus Ferrao on 18 July 2023- Top Cop aka Police Commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain. Ferrao from Kenjar-Thokurwho was riding a scooter moving on the Panambur- Baikampady road and while trying to avoid a mega pothole faced death after a lorry hit him
Mangaluru: It should be noted that The High Court of Karnataka on 15 December 2022, had directed the Home Department to register FIRs (against agencies) on complaints regarding accidents due to potholes while hearing a PIL on the failure of civic agencies in filling up potholes in Bengaluru. A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi, said the police should not hide behind technicalities and immediately register FIRs when such complaints are made about accidents due to potholes resulting in injuries or death.
Police Commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain
Notwithstanding orders of higher courts to register an FIR against agencies maintaining roads due to pothole-induced accidents, the Mangaluru city police commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain on Wednesday said they will ‘investigate’ Tuesday’s death of Ferrao at Panambur on NH 66, which was due to pothole. “The police would issue notice to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) seeking its version of the incident. If our investigation reveals negligence on the part of the NHAI in maintaining the highway, necessary legal action would be taken.
Titus Ferrao (69) of Kenjar-Thokur
Meanwhile, the funeral of accident victim Titus Ferrao was conducted at Thokur Church on Wednesday. His family members have said that they are yet to decide on seeking action against the NHAI. Meanwhile, the son-in-law of Titus, Avinash D’Souza, working in Qatar who had come down for the funeral said, “We need to discuss this with Ferrao’s wife Jecintha, son Jeevan and daughter Tina before initiating any action.”
The Surathkal Tollgate Virodhi Horata Samiti on Tuesday urged authorities concerned to initiate action against the NHAI for its failure to maintain NH 66 in a proper condition thereby resulting in the death of Ferrao. Samiti convener Muneer Katipalla in a statement said, “Officials’ callousness in maintaining the highway in a motorable condition alone was responsible for Ferrao coming under the wheels of the truck while trying to avoid a crater at Panambur. The NHAI should also adequately compensate his family. The construction quality of the B.C. Road-Nanthoor-Surathkal four-lane port connectivity highway, built by IRCON, was quite inferior resulting in the formation of potholes and craters every monsoon”.
It is learnt that though the NHAI spends over Rs 10 crore every year for highway maintenance, the road gets damaged every year. The indifference of the MP and MLAs has contributed to the sorry state of affairs,” added Muneer.
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