Poonch tragedy

Digging, digging and digging, wherever we see digging is galore in Jammu except in areas inhabited by VVIPs, be it by ERA, PHE Department, Telecommunication Department and other agencies and not only is this digging job assigned to unskilled labourers under no technical supervision but once the area is dug out, it is left not only unattended and not repaired for indefinite period but even the elementary precautions are not taken like putting diversion signs or caution signs near it from both sides to put on guard unsuspecting drivers and commuters. One such incident took place in Loran area of Mandi sub division in district Poonch on December 8. The dreadful accident claimed 14 precious lives and as many were injured as the bus they were travelling in, rolled down a gorge in Plera village. Among the injured, six are reported to be critical.
Usually whenever an accident like the one or of other types takes place, all fingers are pointed towards the driver who is blamed to be either having been in an inebriated condition or had overloaded the bus or was driving rash but seldom do we blame those who keep roads in pitiable condition and unfit for motoring. Roads, when even built or repaired, are often violated either by encroachments of pavements, dumping of construction material, overnight parking of vehicles or any other obstructions, except of course, in areas known as posh or elite areas and the ones used by VVIPs. In the instant case , it is reported that a case has been registered but against whom or it is just for doing the formality of “against the unknown”. If the dugout trench would have been duly filled, the front wheel of the vehicle would have not got stuck up, tilted and finally skidded into a deep nullah. It is reported that the driver tried his best to pull back the bus but failed. The driver too is among the dead.
While everyone would express and convey deep condolences to the bereaved families, questions with indignant tone and tenor are put to those who care a naught for the safety, security and the motor-ability of roads especially in mountainous areas where at least concrete parapets must be raised on one vulnerable side of such patches which technically could be demarcated as sensitively critical. How much funds would be required and wherefrom to arrange for this exercise should be no bar to compromise with safety norms. We are afraid, we learn no lessons from each one of such tragic accidents and only resort to passing on blames and counter blames, putting forth ridiculous alibis as post accident exercise.
Let us ponder over another most vital aspect and that is the fitness or road worthiness of the vehicles plying on roads especially on hilly ones. Is there a foolproof mechanism, an infallible procedure and efficacious methodology in subjecting plying vehicles to fitness scrutiny? Are officials from the Traffic Police and Motor Vehicles Department fully equipped both with manpower and other required infrastructure to monitor roads and regulate traffic especially on roads with such condition as the one under reference? Has a formidable Roads Safety Policy been formulated to contain the number and the intensity of road mishaps or at least, are the existing laws being implemented and followed? Does any policy exist or if one does, whether that is taken recourse to, in periodically verifying roads safety norms ? Well, there is nothing of this sort, why and who is answerable is what we ask and what the bereaved families must be shockingly wondering about.