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India in shock over footage showing crowds ignoring accident victim’s pleas

Add comment June 23rd, 2013

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.”


Indian Cinemas to screen films on road safety

Add comment June 18th, 2010

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

Govt to finalise Road Safety Action Plan soon

Add comment June 17th, 2010

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.
Source: (PTI)

Heavy rains in Mumbai, all traffic hit

Add comment June 16th, 2010

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.

Haryana gives road project to Unitech, DLF

Add comment June 16th, 2010

Gurgaon Realty majors among those with development projects along Southern Peripheral Road

With pressure mounting from developers who had purchased land in the new sectors adjoining the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR), the Haryana government has decided to award parts of the work to two real estate majors who have upcoming projects along the route.

While the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has awarded work on a 1.3-km stretch of the 5.2-km road to Unitech Ltd, another 2 km has been given to DLF Ltd. The remaining part of the 90-metre-wide corridor will be awarded, after tendering, to anyone willing to take the project at the price offered six months ago.

Meanwhile, HUDA has written to the government for sanctioning Rs 132 crore to begin work on a 12.5-km stretch of the 18.5-km, 150-metre-wide Northern Peripheral Road (NPR). About 3.5 km of the NPR is under litigation, while another 2 km is in fragments and cannot be built unless the stay orders are vacated.

HUDA, which has floated tenders inviting international consultants for designing these two roads, is also in consultation with officials and experts in New Delhi who have designed various Commonwealth Games projects. “If all goes as per plan, we will float tenders for the NPR by mid-July,” said Pankaj Kumar, Superintending Engineer, HUDA.

The two four-lane corridors will also have 30 metres of green belt on both sides, separate lanes for slow and fast moving traffic, slots for a Metro line and public utilities as well as scope for future expansion.

“Land acquisition for the road is on priority so that developers can benefit from the good connectivity,” explained Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Rajender Kataria. The NPR has five bridges, including a railway overbridge at Garhi Harsaru, for which tenders will be floated separately, he added.

The roads are an important part of the Gurgaon-Manesar Masterplan 2021. Along with the Kundali-Manesar-Palwal Expressway, the aim is to take away 40 per cent of traffic on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway by providing a shorter alternative. Work on the NPR has been inordinately delayed since several residents of Daulatabad and New Palam Vihar, whose houses were to be demolished, moved court. A final order is still awaited.

The two roads: NORTHERN PERIPHERAL ROAD:The 18.5-km NPR will connect Dwarka and National Highway 8.

The road will start from Dwarka, connect Palam Vihar and the upcoming big SEZs in Gurgaon to join the NH-8 near Kherki Dhaula.

SOUTHERN PERIPHERAL ROAD:The SPR will connect Badshahpur Chowk to Kherki Daula on NH-8.

Source: Express India, 16th June, 2010

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