Deadliest accident on Mughal Road

Heart rending accident on Mughal Road on June 27 claimed eleven precious lives and excruciating part of it was that among the killed were nine young girls. Seriously injured were seven passengers. While the heart goes for the families who lost their dear ones, negligence of the system both comprising the Traffic personnel as well as the ill fated vehicle owner and driver resulted in this accident. A picnic party was travelling from Surankotin district Poonch to Pir Ki Gali, Mughal Sarai on PirPanchal in this ill fated vehicle.
The vehicle, a Tempo Traveller is stated to have been not only loaded beyond its capacity but the driver was reportedlyover speeding as well. Howsoever a vehicle may claim to be of a good make , with nice and powerful engine, whenever abrupt brakes are applied, an overloaded vehicle is hardly responding to the situation and hardly is manageable when faced with an emergency as this vehicle is stated to have tried to save a motor cyclist and in the process , the driver could not control the vehicle which fell into a gorge frighteningly as deep as 400 feet.
Whenever an accident takes place on the Jammu and Kashmir roads, some soul searching is done, causes are found out , an ‘alert’ of a day or two is seen feigned by the Traffic , RTO and Police Departments , ex-gratia is announced and at best an inquiry is ordered . Thereafter, nothing is seen as changed for the better till one more fatal accident takes place to repeat the same treatment. Never has any enquiry report beenmade public and the guilty or the ones found involved in dereliction of duty punished. That is simply pathetic . Can it be believed that last year in Jammu Division alone, there were as many as 1130 accidents . Hilly areas like Rajouri ,Rambanetc unfortunately witnessed maximum number of such accidents, say nearly 672. However, Kashmir region witnessed nearly 435 cases.
How come this vehicle having crossed more than three nakas on the road including one of traffic police between Surankot and Pir Ki Gali, passed and no one stopped this vehicle even no one observed its tyres almost flat because of overloading. Those supposed to be on “duty” on the specific route must be duly punished and the same made public. Also how was a vehicle plying without fitness certificate , valid permit etc and who allowed this vehicle to run on the roads ? Where are our Road Safety Policies and which agency is monitoring them in a way to at least pre-empt maximum mishaps , though admittedly under no system, accidents free scenario can be envisaged. The matters are further accentuated by the total absence of medical facilities on accidents prone roads , trauma centres as planned are either not established or are defunct because of non availability of critical infrastructure.
Government figures reveal the total number of deaths reported to have taken place last year due to accidents are as many as 908 in 5530 road accidents while wounding as many as 7250. We urge the State authorities to tighten and revamp the loose monitoring and regulating of traffic movement on the state roads especially on hilly roads. Accidents free and safe driving must be the two driving ambitions of a comprehensive Road Safety Policy.