Tragic road accidents

The UT administration need to strictly subject passenger vehicles especially plying on hilly roads in Jammu and Kashmir to strict and inflexible fitness conditions in order to avoid tragic road accidents. We have also been stressing upon the dire need to ensuring totally stopping overloading of passengers on these roads with all potential vulnerabilities to mishaps. Our pleas also for deploying of traffic personnel at various spots en-route the destinations of the plying vehicles too are ignored. All such elementary regulations of the traffic movement being constantly compromised with brazenly by the Traffic, Road Transport and Police departments result very often in such accidents taking place.
We are pained to write about such recurring accidents taking place at short intervals especially on Jammu hilly areas as one more tragic road accident in Sawjiyan area of Mandi tehsil in Poonch district on Sept 14 has taken placewhich has snatched away 11 precious lives and dozens of passengers having been injured. Close on the heels of this tragic road accident where a mini bus skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in Poonch , yet another road accident occurred on Sept 15, in Bhimber Gali in Manjakote area in district Rajouri. Here also, the vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge claiming 4 lives and wounding as many as 26, among them some seriously . The vehicle on hilly road in Rajouri was very strangely over speeding and it is astonishing that the driver had no fear of such suicidal overspeeding nor probably any passenger having objected to it and persuaded the rashly driving person on the wheels to avoid speeding . In most of the cases, we do not raise an alarm or voice concern effectively even in such situations where an imminent danger to life was apprehended.
In the case of the Poonch accident, the minibus was overloaded, the vehicle was old enough and too unfit to carry overload of passengers borne by a worn out, fatigued and outdated machinery. Who had given permission to such an unfit vehicle to run on hilly roads? Can accountability be fixed and the scourge of suspected corruption in such scenario playing havoc with human lives , be probed into ?It will be observed in both the tragic accidents that prima facie it was the human error , a deliberate one, that caused death on roads but it is surprising that beyond extending sympathies with the bereaved families and paying ex-gratia amount , the UT concerned authorities appear quite complacent in the matter as to why such accidents on recurring basis are taking place. Neither the ”findings” of the enquiry report of the ”last ” such accident are made known nor told about the Action Taken Plan or who were held responsible for various lapses in the system leading to loss of human lives.
We , however, appreciate that in Poonch accident, rescue and relief operations including airlifting six grievously injured to main Jammu Hospital and 4 such injured sent to SKIMS Srinagar for treatment were done without any delay. Perhaps, swift action resulted since the UT Lieutenant Governor happened to be in Poonch town and reaching immediately the district hospital enquiring about and assessing the levels of treatment given to the injured passengers. Who will seriously in the administration , take such preventive measures about traffic management and enforcing rules very strictly that in future human lives are not lost as in twin road accidents in the twin border areas , 15 precious lives are gone in two consecutive days . Can the UT Government come out with the data in public as to how many lost their lives in road accidents during the last three years alone and what preventive action was taken? We want to ask in how many such accidents which took place ,the erring drivers and the owners of the vehicles were jailed, besides how many such vehicles were impounded . How many personnel in concerned departments responsible for “allowing ” such vehicles without adhering to proper procedural requirements concerning safety and security of passengers and the pedestrians faced deterrent action?