Killer highways: No solutions in offing

Killer highways: No solutions in offing

Road accidents resulting in the deaths of scores of people day in and day out don’t concern people in power particularly those overseeing the working of departments whose domain is road widening, road upgradation and regulation of traffic on highways. Though unprecedented rise in road accident deaths should have worried government more than the deaths caused by carelessness of doctors in private clinics and hospitals, but government does not wake up from deep even after the killing of dozens of passengers in fatal road accidents. Even after the killing of twenty people in a fatal road accident at Ramban  the government does not bother even to seek an explanation from the departments tasked the jobs of widening and upgradation of the roads in hilly areas and the working traffic regulation on highways particularly Jammu-Srinagar highway. Few years back  a committee headed by CPI(M) legislator M.Y.Tarigami was constituted to look into the causes of road accidents,  but there is no word from the government on actions taken by the government on the recommendations of the report tabled by committee  in the assembly almost a year before the commencement of 2014 assembly elections .

The killing of twenty people in a road accident on Jammu-Srinagar highway at Ramban should wake up the government from deep slumber and it is for the transport department to trace the report of the Tarigami headed house committee from the records of the state assembly and pick up threads from this report to address the issue of road accident deaths as otherwise shadows of deaths on killer highway will continue to worry the travelers on highways.

 

Irony of the fact is that most of the accidents take place on highways manned by Border Roads Organisation much popularly called  “BEACON” and interestingly extra vigil  is required for strict regulation of traffic on highways. Two decades back when the work of the widening and upgradation of some highways other than Srinagar-Jammu highway was entrusted to Border Roads Organisation-BEACON, people expected improvement in the conditions of some roads connecting twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar some border districts in valley.  Though Border Roads Organisation-BEACON initially worked hard to improve the condition of these roads, but with the passage of time their poor showing in the widening and upgradation of roads belied the expectations of people. No authority from the state government bothers to take up the issue with top brass of the Border Roads Organisation-BEACON when most of the accidents on the roads manned by BEACON  take place due to bad condition of roads and consequently dozen of people die in road mishaps day in and day out. The second factor responsible is the failure of traffic police in maintaining extra vigil on highways and irony of the fact is that highways have become killer roads both in Jammu and Kashmir divisions of the state. The deaths caused in road accidents are rising to alarming proportions day after day, but the government never bothers to pick up threads from the recommendations of  Tarigami headed house committee which has laid emphasis on establishing driving schools for issuance of driving licenses to drivers and condemnation of old commercial vehicles ferrying passengers in thousands on highways daily . The killing of twenty people in a road accident on Jammu-Srinagar highway at Ramban should wake up the government from deep slumber and it is for the transport department to trace the report of the Tarigami headed house committee from the records of the state assembly and pick up threads from this report to address the issue of road accident deaths as otherwise shadows of deaths on killer highway will continue to worry the travelers on highways.

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