Finally, the government of India has woken up! Or so, we assume. The Supreme Court of India noted that pothole deaths have so far proved to be more than number of soldiers killed by terrorists on the border. The Supreme Court further said that the responsible authorities should be held culprit and adequate compensation should be paid to the family members.
More than 14,900 pothole deaths were recorded between 2013-17. More than 10 people die each day because of pothole. Given the lackadaisical attitude of the road contractors and the PWD, it is but natural that a freshly surfaced road should have potholes within days if not hours. During the monsoon, the problem is aggravated. Since the monsoon season coincides with several festivals, the concerned authorities do a superficial job of filling the potholes with gravel. These can bear the brunt of the monsoon as well as the passing vehicles for only a few days.
“This is obviously a very high number and it indicates that that the authorities concerned-whether they are municipal corporations, state government of NHAI aren’t maintaining the roads effectively. It is unacceptable that such a large number of deaths happen each year due to potholes. To add to this misery, there is no proper provision to compensate the legal representatives of the victims. These victims have to live an unforeseen tragedy, which arises due to the lack of concern by authorities. There is also, unfortunately, no action taken against the authorities concerned, for their negligence. “, said the Supreme Court bench comprising of Deepak Gupta, Hemant Gupta and Madan B Lokur.
Solution to avoid pothole deaths
The solution to this, according to the Supreme Court, is to have road safety committee in each district. These committees will have a SP, officers from road transport, healthcare as well as PWD who will suggest measures that can be taken to avoid this. Further emergency trauma centers too can be set up.