Accidents mount due to roads in disrepair

Accidents mount due  to roads in disrepair

Not too long ago, city artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy created quite a stir nationally with his creative yet powerful intervention to highlight a neglected pot-hole. To draw the attention of the authorities towards the difficulties faced by the road users, Baadal placed a life-sized crocodile model right inside the pothole.

Alas, his effort and many similar ones that followed later could not wake up the authorities to the need for filling up potholes, which pose a serious threat to many a road-user across the city.

In 2013, the then Additional Traffic Commissioner(traffic) B Dayananda had announced that cases will be booked against BBMP for any accident caused by potholes or faulty engineering of the roads.

Two years later, the traffic police has not booked even a single case. The two cases that were actually registered were against Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for accidents that took place outside the BBMP limits.

The police view is this: Most of the accidents occur on the outskirts of Bengaluru as within the city, especially in the central areas, the traffic moves slowly due to congestion. However, not many would agree with this completely. At least not city-based musician Raghu Dixit, who suffered a fall three months ago. He had lost balance on his two-wheeler while trying to avoid a huge pothole in the Central Business District (CBD) area. He ended up with fractures in two fingers and an injured shoulder and chest. There are many who have suffered similar fate due to huge potholes.

According to a list submitted to the BBMP by the traffic police, there were more than 16,000 potholes identified in the city. These had to be filled up in 2013. But this exercise has remained painfully slow, with more potholes emerging due to rains and road-cutting for utility line repairs.

The traffic police top brass said that within the city, the roads had to be maintained well by whichever competent civic agency they fall under, be it BBMP, BDA or the Public Works Department (PWD). “If there is a road that needs to be fixed and is dangerous for the road-users, it cannot be left like that and should be repaired as early as possible,” said the official.

Now, an amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Act 1988 is what the residents can pin their hopes on. It proposes to fix the blame for accidents on the road-making agency.
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva

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