Lack of safety railings and streetlight kill youth in Shimla, Govt. still asleep
SHIMLA- After two men fell from the edge of a link road in Vikasnagar, one of them, a 32—year old man died instantly. His friend also fell from the same spot while trying to grab him. He sustained injuries and is admitted to the IGMC, Shimla.
Both men were on their way to home at about midnight. One of them stepped outside the edge and landed 15-20 meter onto the cemented ground onto the premises of Vikasnagar Colony. He died on the spot due to brain Hemorrhage. He wasn’t drunk, as some of us would assume.
Whenever, we read or hear about such accidents in which either a person or a vehicle rolled down from edge of a road, our first concern is to check the presence of safety railing, parapets, crash barriers etc.
The deceased worked at the Vikasnagar fuel station. He had got married just four months ago. The life was ok, but then one day it was all over. The dreams of newly married couple shattered. It’s hard to imagine the life of newly married girl ending in such a heart- breaking tragedy.
We visited the spot as we suspected that safety railings are likely to be missing. In that case, the ward councilor, Shimla MC, HPPWD and negligent public would be held responsible for this death.
The roadside did have parapets. Then, why these parapets couldn’t fulfill their sole purpose – to prevent people and vehicles falling from edge of roads?
A shopkeeper told Himachal Watcher that the deceased was push to the edge after a car passed by. The passage was very narrow for the car to pass as vehicles were parked on both sides of the link road. He further told that the bright headlights of the car, perhaps on high beam, were too much to take for his eyes. He couldn’t judge the road.
The fact is that consecutive parapets had wide gap between them and were very low in height. Secondly, that particular stretch of road had no streetlight.
First of all, a busy link road, where a pedestrian movement is high, requires safety railings that are high enough to prevent people from falling from roadside. The parapets are more about main roads with heavy traffic.
The parapets are so low that they would hardly prevent a person from falling. Rather, it’ll result in stumbling of the person. Moreover, there is nothing that the falling person could grab unlike safety railings.
Moreover, the kids, who are often seen walking on these parapets, are also vulnerable to mishaps. How would a parapet prevent a kid falling from the edge when it’s so low that kids can easily climb them like small steps?
It’s a matter of common sense, but the men for whom the people had voted for – the ward councilor, the Municipal Corporation, the MLA and the Govt. lack capacity and vision required to manage public facilities and safety measures.
Why there is no streetlight despite the fact that it’s a busy link road? Most of the Shimla city is without streetlights except VIP areas. HW had been writing to SMC and Electricity Board regarding the lack of streetlights in Shimla for years. The light you see in the photograph was that of strong camera flash. Without it, it’s dark.
The parapets are probably constructed a decade ago and were not attended thereafter. A little stretch of roadside near Vikasnagar Police Station has double protection. Over a high concrete wall of a size of parapet, iron beams are installed. That means there is no chance of anyone falling. Why is it so? Why our government has different parameters of safety for different spots on the same road when all of them are equally risky?
It’s not about a few spots. Most of the link roads either completely lacks safety measures or are partially protected. It’s not a surprise. Even the main roads including NH lack roadside safety measures.
Such news mostly dies under the heap of newspapers. No one is concerned of affected by such cases of death. However, there is an important question that must be raised here – the question about responsibility of the cause.
When IPS Chandrashekhar had died after his car rolled down the road in Mehli near passport office, the government had hurriedly placed crash barriers on that very curve. However, the same government and public representatives don’t even bother to inspect the spot of accident when a common man died.
We guess, the only occasion when the governments departments are compelled to provide sufficient roadside safety measure are those when a VIP or VVIP dies. So, Himachal Watcher would like to invite VIPs and VVIPs to come forward and sacrifice their life to save many others.
A number of accidents in Himachal could have been averted if the government had ensured installation of crash barriers and safety railings. Every day, vehicles roll down the roads in Himachal, but the government never take note of this grieve concern. The hilly region means dangerous and risky roads.
The government needs to wake up and the people need to raise their voice to demand their share of facilities and safety measures promised by the government.