CONDOLENCES EXPRESSED, QUESTIONS RAISED AT CAUSE OF MISHAP
Monday, 02 July 2018 | PNS | Dehradun–
The bus mishap killing at least 48 persons on Sunday morning spread a wave of grief in the State and beyond. From the Prime Minister and Home Minister to the Governor, Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president, all have expressed deep grief at the scores of lives lost in the bus mishap in Pauri district early on Sunday morning. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister JP Nadda also expressed grief during telephonic talks with the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat while also assuring all possible help. While condolences were expressed, questions are also being raised about the cause of the mishap with unconfirmed reports citing damaged state of the road and overloading as probable causes of the mishap. The Chief Minister has ordered a magisterial probe into the accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Extremely saddened by the bus accident in Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest. Rescue operations are underway and authorities are providing all possible assistance at the accident site.” Expressing his condolences, the BJP national president Amit Shah tweeted also that he had spoken to the local BJP unit too to join the rescue operation. Governor Krishan Kant Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also expressed deep grief at the mishap. The Congress party members who were staging a protest at Gandhi Park on another issue also observed momentary silence to mourn the loss of lives in the accident.
Earlier, it took time for the information about the mishap to be relayed as the accident took place at a location where communication was not effectively clear.
Later, a helicopter dispatched to the accident site to bring the injured to hospital had to make an emergency landing at Ramnagar due to inclement weather. The injured were brought to Ramnagar from where they were being sent to higher centres by helicopter, according to official sources.
The CM TS Rawat along with other leaders also reached the hospital in Ramnagar to check on the condition of the injured.
CONCRETE MEASURES NEEDED FOR SAFER MOUNTAIN ROADS: IRF
Expressing deep concern at the death of at least 48 persons in the bus accident in Pauri district, the Geneva-based International Road Federation (IRF) has stressed on the need of installation of crash barriers, separate tough driving license for mountain drivers and stricter fitness and overloading norms for vehicles.
“The mountain roads in the country are prone to regular road accidents. A lot needs to be done to ensure road safety, especially in higher areas in the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and North East States in the country. The Government should plan to incorporate the latest technologies and safety features, including installation of soil and slope stabilisation and roadside safety in the mountainous terrain infrastructure, crash barriers, intelligent traffic plans, rumble strips, use of speed governors and proper signages,” said IRF chairman KK Kapila in a statement.
“Installation of crash barriers, special separate tough driving license for mountain drivers, use of vehicle tracking system, tough vehicle fitness norms and certification and development of safety code for mountains should also be adhered to make road travel safe and sustainable on mountain roads,” he said.
“Recent move by Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as confirmed by prime minister Narendra Modi to install crash barriers and parapets on most of the mountain roads in Uttarakhand including Chard Dham Yatra route, to curb accidents and make the mountain roads safer is welcome. Road crash barrier systems are used worldwide on highways, especially on mountain roads, to physically prevent vehicles from running off the roadway or falling down a steep slope and protect vehicle hitting a road side object. Similar crash barriers should be installed in all mountain roads,” added Kapila.
The Ministry of Road and State Public Works Department should focus on engineering safe roads rather than more roads as rectifying faulty designed roads with black spots is more expensive than building safe roads. Similarly, the stress should also be on safe vehicles with higher visibility features, including ABS brakes, reflective tapes on commercial vehicles and mandatory fog lamps on all vehicles, he stated.
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