Negligent transportation practice claims life, a life we could have saved easily
SHIMLA- A laborer died in Shimla after a bump shook off him from the rear of a pick-up. The pick-up was carrying vegetable supplies. Three labors were sitting at the rear of the overloaded vehicle, almost hanging. The pick-up reportedly ran over a big pothole that caused a sudden shake after which one of the laborers lost his grip and fell down.
There was nothing to prevent the laborer from falling backwards into middle of the road. He was crushed under tyres of a truck right behind this pick-up. The laborer was identified as Manbahadur, 29. Shimla police has registered a case of overloading and unsafe transportation of people without providing any defined safety measures. Labor department has also criticized poor treatment of laborers in Himachal and failure of the employers to provide safety measures during work hours.
The deceased laborer hailed from Nepal. He has left behind three children and a wife.
CPI-M and CITU staged a protest outside Shimla DC office with a demand to ensure strict implementation of labor laws.
How did that sound to you; a matter of carelessness? Actually, there was no accident and no one died. However, the images are real and clicked a couple of days ago. It was just a guess how a newspaper would report if someone would have actually died a miserable death like that. We have to frame the story in this manner to grab more of reader’s attention to this serious issue. You might also give a thought about it then. Otherwise, it’s a very common scene? Right?
In picture, we have suitable conditions and situation. The scene is set on busy roads of Urban Shimla. This pick-up crossed traffic policemen at various points like cartroad, near Sabji-Mandi , at lift, near High Court, St. Edwards School, Talland, upper and Khalini chowk, and finally BCS. Due to VVIP movement in Shimla, more policemen were deployed on traffic duty. But not even one of them, at least, warned the driver or these laborers regarding the risk.
At BCS chowk, there were about four policemen on duty and here this pick took a sharp turn towards New Shimla.
The laborers in India are never in position to make a choice, so they work under whatever conditions they come across. The drivers aren’t that sensitive owing to our socio-cultural conditioning, and the owners never mind anything.
Take a look at the video showing a worker painting the roof of a five story building without any safety measures.
Even if everyone else is negligent or careless, then what about the Government, HPS and IPS officers given charge of making sure no unsafe practice inflict any kind of loss of life or other damage to drivers, passengers and pedestrians? Traffic policemen are supposed to be trained and highly aware of such loopholes. Aren’t they? Otherwise, what is the purpose of traffic police: to clear traffic for VIP fleets?
Further, where are the reporters of dailies? It’s the duty of Journalists to highlight what needs attention.
We guess, it’s a matter of common sense to object to and avoid such unsafe practices that put the lives of people at stake. You don’t need to be trained for that. Moreover, what about human consciousness? Why people here always need laws, rules and regulations to behave? This debate isn’t limited to only above mentioned issue.
Take a look at overall traffic sense of people driving on Shimla roads. The buses are overloaded, bus drivers, both private and HRTC, use cellphone while driving, music systems in buses and carriage vehicle, pressure horns, high beam, wrong parking and so on.
The government or traffic police don’t need to beat violators, but fines must be higher and imposed strictly. Policemen don’t need to argue with violators. They are suppose to do what they are ought to do.
Disclaimer: The incident of accident mentioned above is a fictitious story with fictitious victim meant to illustrate unsafe transportation practices in Himachal.