Poor road safety in Himachal Pradesh

HP PWD and Health Dept kill 2 more in Kangra

Kangra: On Nov 12, 2017, two youth were reported to had died in a road accident that occurred on the bridge built over the Sakaad river on Bhawarna – Jaisinghpur Road in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh.  

However, from the facts that were revealed later by the family and the locals suggest these were deliberate murders by the State Government’s Public Works Department and Health Department. 

The two deceased were identified as 32-years-old Ankaj Kumar and 27-years-old  Sunny. Ankaj was a shopkeeper and Sunny was a trainee at Mahindra Pvt Ltd, Kachiyari, Kangra.

One of them died on the spot, while the other one had to wait as the ambulance arrived after one hour of receiving the information. The reason is shocking. Jaisinghpur hospital had only one ambulance, and it was shifted to Paragpur in September this year.  One of them was still breathing when the people had called for the ambulance, but he died because the ambulance was late. It was late because the nearest hospital had no ambulance. 

The issue was raised by a couple Hindi Dailies in September. About 35 panchayats are dependent on this hospital. Despite that the department behaved carelessly by depriving it of the only emergency service it had. 

Ankaj left behind a grieving wife, 3-years-old daughter, parents and his younger Brother.

Sunny was one of the six children including his five sisters. His family had lost his father some years ago, and now Sunny.  

As per the family of the victim, the accident occurred  due to the negligence of the government.

A retaining wall near the bridge had collapsed about three years ago.  The damage had left a huge hole on the road, which had turned the road into single lane near this spot.  Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department was supposed to repair it. 

The road had no signboard or anything to alert the drivers of damaged portion. Despite being a busy and only road,  that connects Bhawarna – Jaisinghpur and Lambagaon, the department neglected it for three years.  

The locals and a Hindi daily had raised the issue multiple times. However, neither the HP PWD nor Construction Company found any time to look into it.  

At the same time, police also took about an hour to reach the spot. The police said it did not have a driver.

Several accidents occurred on the stretch between Bhawarana and Jaisinghpur. The victims mostly mostly died due to the unavailability of doctors and ambulance.  Otherwise, there are hospitals in Khaira, Jaisinghpur and Lambagaon,

said a friend of the deceased. 

The friends and family of the two youth said the accident could have been easily avoided if the responsible government department had bothered to care about the lives of people. 

Nothing can bring back the deceased, but an action should be taken against the responsible officials, said the families of Ankaj and Sunny. 

The HP PWD could not find any time in three years to repair the damaged retaining wall, the nearest hospital had no ambulance, and police waited for the driver. Does it sound like an accident? 

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