Tragic road accident

Tragic road accident on Rajouri-Budhal road has taken 9 precious lives and left 51 others wounded some seriously. Police and government machinery was immediately galvanized into rescue operation and the local people left no stone unturned to render whatever help they could to retrieve the dead bodies or to support the wounded passengers to be hospitalized.  Sorrow and sadness have seized the families of the dead and wounded people. The Deputy Commissioner has announced financial relief under rules to the families or the next of kin of the victims. The Governor and the Chief Minister have sent condolence     messages to the bereaved families. This is generally what follows a tragic road accident anywhere. But the loss of precious human lives is irreparable.
The Traffic Department highlighted three main reasons of this accident which, by and large, could be applicable to other such accidents also happening elsewhere in the State. These are (a) shortage of vehicles in rural areas, (b) shortage of traffic manpower in rural areas, and (c) non-co-operation of people/commuters. The Department has assured that the cops on duty will be punished if they failed to perform their duty according to the inquiry which has been set up. However, this is not the first traffic accident that has happened and taken precious lives. Day in and day out, major and minor traffic accidents are flashed by the media.  In their capacity of running the State, the Government should order a broad-based enquiry involving all Departments like Traffic, Transport and Roads Department.  Even the functioning of the minister in charge has also to be made answerable. We may assure them that if a serious and impartial enquiry is conduct many skeletons in the traffic cupboard will tumble down one after another. It is so simple to get hold of a junior functionary, a cop or two who are just resourceless and punish them because they have no moles in the power structure, and their ouster or punitive action against them is not going to reverberate in political circles. We have been repeatedly giving an opinion that the some of these department needs to be overhauled and dead wood thrown out.
If there is shortage of vehicles in the rural areas, what steps have the transport authorities taken to bring it to the notice of the Government? What solution to the problem have they suggested as it falls within its jurisdiction? Policy planners needed to have innovative thinking and make concrete input. Increasing the number of vehicles is not a major issue that will elude solution. We have unemployed youth seeking self employment; we have banks ready to offer loans for running small business or industry and we have the market for such enterprises. Why don’t these departments make positive and useful plans and take initiative on their own? Secondly, about the shortage of manpower. Top echelons of the department should call for the duty register and see what the pattern of deployment of man power is. Is the deployment fair and justifiable or is it concentrated in plum areas leaving rural areas starved?  If this one aspect is thoroughly probed, it will undoubtedly take the lid off a can of worms.
And finally as far as passing the buck on to the public sensitivity, suffice to say that public, even in advanced societies, is public and not angels. The public has its way when it finds the law enforcing agencies compromising with certain aspects. In such a situation it is the law enforcing agency that has to be fouled. Take the case of Rajouri accident. Normally if the single cop on duty had threatened the driver to recommend cancellation of his driving licence in case he overloaded, the doomed mini bus would never have met with the accident. But when the cops know that despite their reports of infringement of the traffic rules, the bus driver would proceed and run his daily routine without any fear from authorities, the cop becomes paralysed. We have been repeatedly scripting advisory on the issue of traffic accidents but to no avail. These departments concerned needs to be overhauled, purged of malefactors and given a new shape enabling it to retrieve its lost credibility with the public.

Laxman quits cricket
Sir,
Indian batsman VVS Laxman’s retirement from cricket world is a great loss to the Team India. The 37 years stylish batsman displayed his talent and determination during his career spanning 16 years. Laxman, who earned the sobriquet ‘Very very special’ for his style and flair, played 134 tests, amasing 8781 runs at an average of 45.97. During this period, Laxman played some amazing knocks over the years to script some memorable wins. He is one of the players in Indian cricket team who never courted controversy on or off the ground. Like his teammate. Laxman remained unassumed throughout his career. However, his sudden retirement from cricket has raised an eyebrow on the selectors. There are  reports that he has retired hurt.
This development has hurt his fans all over India and the world. The  selectors should not have remained callous towards him at the fag and of his career. His retirement in this manner should serve a grim reminder to the selectors not to that senior players with contempt.
Hope he would share his batting skills with the budding batsmen in the country. This way he can contributing to Indian cricket.
Yours etc….
Rajesh
Ploura Phase I, Jammu

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