June 23rd, 2013 05:00pm
Delhi: Footage showing hundreds of vehicles passing a father pleading for help beside the bodies of his wife and eight-month-old baby have prompted outrage and shock in India.
Images show Kanhaiyalal Raigher holding his five-year-old son by the hand, attempting in vain to flag down passing traffic for 10 minutes.
The family were riding together on a motorbike through a tunnel in the north-western city of Jaipur on Sunday afternoon when the accident occurred at around 2.30pm.
Reports said Raigher tried to overtake a truck which then hit the bike. His 24-year-old wife and the baby she was holding were both killed or died shortly afterwards. The family were on their way to visit Raigher’s in-laws.
Television stations showed the footage repeatedly. “Their tragedy, our problem,” ran one headline.
India has the highest rate of road accidents per vehicle in the world with around 150,000 people dying and several times that number seriously injured each year. Traffic rules are habitually flouted, vehicles are badly maintained, drivers are often untrained, policemen easily bribed, and punishments for dangerous driving rare.
“We saw the CCTV footages [sic] in which the truck involved in the mishap sped away, while Kanhaiyalal kept crying for help for 10 minutes. Several sports utility vehicles, cars and trucks passed by them. However, no one stopped to help the victims,” the local IANS agency quoted a police officer as saying.
The driver of the truck involved in the accident fled the scene.
An ambulance was finally called by road maintenance workers.
There have been other infamous incidents in which seriously injured people have been ignored by crowds or passing traffic.
In December a 23-year-old woman, who had been brutally gang raped by six men, and a male friend, both badly injured, lay beside a major road on the outskirts of Delhi for 40 minutes before the emergency services were called. That incident provoked a bout of introspection.
“You often hear that this is due to a decline of morals or globalisation but the truth is that the deck is stacked against the would-be helper,” said Vivek Dehejia, a Mumbai-based economist and author of the recently published Indianomix which analyses modern Indian society.
“There is a murky legal situation and no ‘good samaritan law’ as elsewhere. And the more general fact that people fear the police and don’t want to get involved.”
June 16th, 2011 12:15am
Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has created one problem while trying to solve another. For the last 20 days, the corporation has been desilting the city drains. It had heaped the extracted material on the edge of these drains. However, with the monsoon setting in, the sludge is bound to be washed back into the drains. After a stormy council meeting on desiltation of the internal drains in the last week of May, the BMC authorities had decided that by June 15 the drains would be made ready to face the monsoon rains.
However, with the silt from the drains still lying on the roadsides, the drains will again be choked in most of the areas. “This year the desiltation work started very seriously at the beginning. But, in most of the areas, the work never got over on time. While most of the desilted drains will be refilled with the soil and garbage recovered from the nearby drains, the civic authorities will have more problem to collect the silt again and transport them to the dumping ground,” said Mrutyunjay Tripathy, a resident of Ganganagar area.
But, in some areas, including ward No. 45, extracted materials have been removed. “All the dumped materials near the main road were lifted. In some parts, however, some garbage was still dumped for inspection of the municipal commissioner and city health officer. Now, almost all silt from the roadsides in our ward have been lifted,” said councillor Pranab Kishore Swain. But the situation is different on the Delta Square-Jagamara Road. Here, heaps of silt recovered from the nearby stormwater drain have been lying for days in front of the shops. Apart from the shopkeepers, local residents are suffering badly due to this. This is also causing traffic congestions on the road.
“The civic authorities have set a bad precedence this year by causing difficulties for the public while dumping the silt on the road itself. But, according to the Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, it is punishable to dump garbage on roads,” said Samir Kumar Jena, a resident of Baramunda village. City health officer Ashok Kumar Panda, however, blamed the Raja festival for the delay in the BMC plan.
“We could not get labourers during the festive season. As it is the biggest festival of the state, workers tend to go to their villages and return after a day or two. We have already issued instructions. Once the labourers are available, we will lift the heaps of silt and garbage from the roadsides,” said Panda. The Telegraph had carried a report on May 24 regarding a desiltation exercise before the onset of the monsoon as the Indian Meteorological Department had predicted June 10 as the date for arrival of monsoon clouds in the city. After that, the councillors took up the matter at the council meeting.
Speaking to the The Telegraph, city engineer T.B.K. Shroff had said on May 23: “There is no fixed rule to finish the desiltation activity in the smaller drains one month prior to the arrival of the monsoon clouds. But, the desiltation works will be definitely over by June 15.”
Ward Nos. 10, 19, 21, 39, 40 and 49 are facing acute crisis due to the dumped silts on roadsides. After the incessant rain since last evening, people staying in areas such as Rental Colony, Nayapalli, Bomikhal, Jayadurga Nagar, Sarala Nag ar, Refugee Colony, Laxmisagar, Jharpada, Buddheswari Colony, Laxmisagar Brit Colo ny, Chintamaniswar temple area, Sabar Sahi, Kalpana Fla ts and BJB Nagar ‘A’ type flat areas, are facing problems from dumped silts due to the negligence of the BMC.
June 18th, 2010 10:37am
With the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) decision to make screening of road safety films mandatory in all cinema halls in the country, Chandigarh residents too will get a lesson in road safety by July-end.
“The ministry of I&B has already written letters to chief secretaries of all states including Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal advising cinema halls to show road safety films before screening commercial films. The ministry has also asked the states to display hoardings on road safety rules, do’s and don’ts at important locations, preferably in government buildings, railway stations, bus stations and airports,” says KK Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF) in a press release.
“Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in association with IRF has launched a national campaign for reduction of road accidents in the country as about 1.25 lakh deaths take place per annum due to road mishaps. As part of the campaign, IRF has made two films of three minutes each on road safety titled ‘Afsos’ and ‘Ehasas’. These will be released to all the cinema halls in Delhi and other states and cinemas will air them before the any commercial movie,” he adds. While Ehasas is a short film on drunken driving, Afsos is on the Supreme Court’s judgment to quickly shift the accident victims to a hospital by anyone without any fear of police harassment.
Express News Service Posted: Jun 18, 2010 at 0352 hrs
June 17th, 2010 11:25am
The government today said it would soon finalise an action plan for road safety, with an annual provision of Rs 250 crore.
“We are going to come out with complete Road Safety Action Plan, provide about Rs 250 crore per year for road safety measures,” Road Secretary Brahm Dutt told PTI.
The development succeeds the bill for creation of National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board, which was introduced in Lok Sabha last month with the mandate to conduct regular safety audits of national highways and establish collection, transmission and analysis of road accident data.
India has highest number of road accidents in the world with more than one lakh people falling victims to road accidents every year. Official figures state as many as 1.37 lakh people were killed in road accidents in 2008.
June 16th, 2010 07:42am
Heavy rains Wednesday threw life out of gear in Mumbai, seriously affecting rail, road and air traffic. Eight people died in a wall collapse in neighbouring Thane district.
Mumbai got close to 100 mm rains in 12 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) here said.
As rain water flooded the tracks, local trains, the lifeline of Mumbai, plied 10 to 30 minutes behind schedule, officials said.
According to an IMD official, Colaba in south Mumbai received 78 mm of rainfall and Santacruz about 95 mm, flooding scores of streets.
Traffic had to be diverted at Parel and Dadar in south-central Mumbai and Khar, Santacruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Malad, Kandivli and Borivli in the western suburbs of the city.
Air traffic was also hit, with most flights delayed by 35-40 minutes.
“Heavy rains, strong winds of between 15-20 knots and fluctuating visibility have impacted operations,” an airport official said.
Drains in several low-lying areas of Mumbai got choked, forcing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to press workers and pumps to clear rainwater from several roads.
“We have deployed 200 pumps,” said BMC Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya.
Early Wednesday, eight people were crushed to death in sleep when a wall collapsed in Dyaneshwar Nagar area in Thane.
A high alert has been sounded in the low-lying areas of Mumbai. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea till Thursday in view of high tides measuring about 4.70 meters.