Year Later Mowadi-Trasi Junction Still Remains Danger and Hazardous where a Accident Killed 8 Kids
Udupi: 21 June 2016! Recalling the story, where eight children, all aged below 14, were killed in a horrific road accident that took place on 21 June 2016 morning at Trasi village in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district. As many as 17 children were on their way to Don Bosco School in Trasi village in a mini-van on that rainy Tuesday morning when a private bus heading to Kundapur collided with it. The accident took place at Mowadi Cross, about 150 metres from the school. The eight children were rushed to the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, of whom seven were declared brought dead, while the eighth died later.
Looking back at the accident- The Maruti van was ferrying 18 children besides a teacher of the same school, and her husband, the van driver- but both survived with injuries. as per police reports, the van driver took a right turn towards the school near Mowadi junction, when the bus coming in the opposite direction (plying towards Kundapur from Gangolli) crashed into the van. Calista Olivera, Clarissa Olivera (daughters of Stephen & Rita Olivera, Moovattumudi), Alvita Olivera, Ancita Olivera (daughters of Alwyn and Reshma Olivera, Moovattumudi) and Delwin Dais (s/o Vinod & Defhni Dias, Gangoli), Nikhitha D’Dilva, Ananya D’Silva ( Daughters of Lloyd & Marina D’Silva, Hemmady) & Royston Lobo (S/O Vinod & Shanthì Lobo Hemmady) perished in the accident. The whole district was mourned the death of these eight innocent kids. The grief expressed by the parents of these eight kids left deep impact on the parents who were concerned about the safety of their children.
Today marks the one year anniversary of this tragic accident, but it seems like the administration has not taken any serious action when it comes to safety of the children who are transported to their respective school daily by vans, mini-buses, auto-rickshaws etc. The administration approach in rectifying this issue has failed miserably, since the junction where the deadly accident took place is not safe, and also that the traffic police are not seriously taking any initiative in cracking down on vehicles ferrying school children over the capacity in their vehicles. The efforts by various organizations to ensure safety of the school children have been in vain.
Soon after the incident, the administration conveyed a meeting with Minister in-charge District to discuss on the safety of children who were commuting to schools in the private vehicles. The administration issued strict orders to the private vehicles to display a board stating that it is a school vehicle. The police also randomly checked the school vehicles and fines were imposed on those who were carrying excess children. In the meantime, the private schools have introduced their own buses which restrict of carrying of excess students. While some schools are still dependent on the private vehicles due to financial limitations.
But a year later, the things have never changed at Trasi-Mowadi cross?
The spot is still hazardous. The administration who had promised to install speed breakers has not materialized. The safety barricades which were erected to control the speed, are now being removed. It looks like even after that even after that ghastly accident which claimed eight young innocent lives, the concerned authorities have not learned anything about safety, instead have ignored it completely by allowing the junction still to be hazardous to motorists. Frankly speaking, the Mowadi-Trasi cross still remains a possible danger to motorists and commuters.
In the meantime, it is learnt that the police department has instructed the school management, private vehicle operators, school bus operators on safety measures to be implemented while operating buses. They have also urged the public in this respect for the support. But according to a local resident, who says that the last year incident remains a black spot on Trasi, but the administration needs to concentrate to improve safety measures in this part. But unfortunately its not done. Another resident says that traffic jam is seen most of the time on the NH 66 and that he has also asked the police to ensure that the safety of school bus is followed effectively. But , how far the traffic law enforcement will listen to the commuters grievances in maintaining safety traffic standards to avoid any more such accident that took place a year ago, is still in vain.
Now the million dollar question is that even after such a horrific accident that claimed the precious lives of eight innocent school going children, whether the administration and the concerned traffic authorities will come out with a solution to make this Trasi- Mowadi junction a accident- free zone- Guess we will have to keep our fingers crossed, and wait until we see some positive results.