To HP police, public, and the Govt.: When will you learn from past lessons?
SHIMLA- An overloaded truck (HP-11-1640) carrying more than 60 people toppled over near Darlaghat last week. Reports said that three people died at a hospital in Darlaghat, while about 40 people received injured, and 10 out of these injured were referred to IGMC. Many others had received serious injuries. Most of the people belonged to district Bilaspur, who were traveling back to Bilaspur from Shimla. All the passengers are said to have arrived in Barog village, Arki to attend a function. On the way back, the truck toppled over.
Himachal had restricted the use of trucks to carry passengers as there has already been a lot of loss of life in similar accidents in Himachal, but the recent truck accident near Darlaghat in Solan district raises couple of the same old questions, mourning over the loss of lives because of human negligence, only to be forgotten with next day’s newspaper.
In 2013, 32 people died when an overloaded truck fell into a deep gorge in Chamba. Out of total deaths, 30 people had died on the spot, while two others struggled with critical injuries and died on the way to hospital.
In the same year, in an another accident, a mini truck overloaded with devotees rolled down the hill near Himachal- Punjab border, killing 20 people on the spot and injuring 30 others.
There are many other incidents in which people died while they traveled in overloaded trucks or pick-ups. Still, no one seems to have learned from the past mishaps, and the same business is going on uninterrupted.
Negligence of Shimla Traffic Police, Ambulances Struck in Traffic Jam (Video Clip)
Sadly, due to the insensitivity of Shimla’s drivers and the negligence of Shimla traffic police, two 108 ambulances, carrying critically injured patients of Darlaghat accident, remained stuck in traffic for about 15 minutes. The traffic jam occurred at Boileauganj Chowk at about 8:30 PM (19 March, 2014) along a narrow patch. A taxi number Alto car caused the traffic jam, and the drivers of the confronting vehicles continued to argue while the ambulance siren was continuously buzzing at its full. An aged man tried to call the Boileauganj police station, but no one answered the phone. The traffic police arrived at the spot only after the jam begins to disperse.
A HW member happened to be at the spot, and tried to help. He recorded a short clip of the traffic jam posted above. Clearly, there is no sign of any cop. Only the passengers from other vehicles and a few locals struggled to open the jam.
Almost everyone in Shimla, especially the traffic cops at Boileauganj, are well aware of the fact that the narrow patch of the road, between the Govt. School Boileauganj and the Chowk, is vulnerable to long traffic jams.
During the busy hours of morning and evening, the traffic jams are almost a routine business. Still, rarely any cop is seen on the main Chowk. This careless attitude and negligence towards routine traffic trouble reached its extremity on 19 March evening when the 108 ambulances had to wait so long when the lives of the injured were at stake. Every second counts at such critical time.
The geographical conditions, hilly terrains are already a challenge in terms of handling traffic jams. The population as well the number of vehicles crawling on its roads are on rise in the capital city Shimla. Now, the traffic jams are more frequent and longer. The attitude of the people on the driving seats is that of a typical, self-centered, insecure Indian personality, who thinks he/she deserves priority and privileges more than any other present around them.
Above all, the fleets of VVIP politicians or vehicles with red beacons always cause trouble to common people. The roads are cleared and the traffic is brought to halt to let these VVIP cars pass. Especially, the common men with their common cars are swept aside the road long before these VVIP parasites actually pass through it.
The car fleet of VVIPs rush faster than ambulance or fire brigade vehicle like nothing matters but their precious time and comfort.
Earlier, HW had raised the issue questioning the over-speeding fleet of HP CM, rushing through the crowded Shimla Mall and the Ridge, completely ignoring the possibility of an accident or discomfort to the public. Why is it so that there is no speed limit for VVIP cars on a sealed road, where vehicles are completely prohibited? Why can’t he use the common roads as the rest of the public is directed to do?
What kind of democracy is it where the representatives avail the status of elites, and the comforts of luxury cars on the coast of public suffering? Is this what we call people’s government?
These VIP politicians need to be reminded that Govt. machinery isn’t meant just for them or the comforts of their relatives, the traffic police isn’t their slave but a public servant, and the red beacons suits only on emergency services than for their display of power?
How many examples the public and the government need in order to realize that ignoring the hilly terrains in Himachal are the worst mistake they could make when they opt to overload trucks or mini-trucks to be used as a carriage? How many directions and demonstrations do the police department needs to make sure the traffic and carriage related laws aren’t violated? When will the people learn to behave like responsible citizens? If not responsible, then at least, use the common sense. How hard is it understand that their arguments aren’t necessary while patients wait to die in ambulances, which are struck in the traffic jam because their egoistic non-sense.
Photo Credits: Allovoices/Prokerla