148 killed in six months: Stay off Mohali roads

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Mohali: Veena Rani, 36, a resident of Trivedi Camp in Zirakpur, was returning home after paying obeisance at Mansa Devi temple in Panchkula with her two children and husband Suresh Kumar in their car. When the family reached near Baltana light point, another car hit their vehicle. Veena Rani died in the accident and the family was left devastated. Veena Rani died of severe head injuries. She was taken to a private hospital but she was declared brought dead. Her husband, Suresh Kumar, also suffered injuries. He was also admitted to a private hospital where he recovered from his injuries. Both the children of the victim escaped unhurt.
In the past six months at least 148 people died in road accidents that took place at different places across the Mohali district.
Several factors — such as violation of prescribed speed limits, stray cattle on roads, drunk driving and poor road infrastructure — are responsible for precious human lives being lost on the district’s roads almost on a daily basis.
Zirakpur, Derabassi, Lalru and Kharar are the four most accident-prone areas in the district. At least 48 persons died in Kharar, while in Lalru, 29 people were killed. The state government is undertaking a massive road construction in the area, which has rather become another major factor for the surge in fatal road accidents. Authorities on the other hand blame poor driving sense of the motorists that cause fatal road accidents.
“The 15.5-km stretch from Kharar towards Morinda is one of the most unsafe roads in the district. Last year. as many as 22 road accident were reported in which 16 people lost their lives for driving vehicles as maximum number of road accidents have been reported from this side, now the work of road widening is in progress since February 2017 which had made it a very congested place,” said a doctor P S Ghuman posted at Kharar Civil Hospital.
Apart from these roads, airport road from Kharar to Zirakpur that is around 19.6-km long is another road which has become notorious for road accidents. In the past six months, as many as 10 deaths were reported at different locations on this road stretch that connects Kharar on one side and Zirakpur on the other.
The airport road is mired in various controversies that have impacted its recarpeting work. The Vigilance Bureau (VB) had also initiated a probe for poor construction which is yet pending any conclusion. It was alleged that during the construction of the road many required specifications were ignored and the sub-standard material was used. The road had developed cracks, potholes and has become extremely unsafe for motorists resulting in several accidents.
“Violating the prescribed speed limits and not following road safety rules are two main factors responsible for high fatal road accidents in Mohali. In majority of the cases, motorists who died were not wearing safety helmets”, said Tarun Rattan, SP (Traffic).
“To curb the menace of speeding on Mohali roads, we have recently got interceptors and will set up random check-posts specifically to check over speeding”, Tarun Rattan added.
Lalru is emerging as another major accident prone area in the district with at least two-three road accidents reported on a daily basis. Police say that movement of heavy traffic on the roads from Derabassi towards Lalru and from Banur towards Lalru. Since, the town has some industrial units and it is has a road connectivity with Zirakpur, Derabassi, Ambala and Patiala so the flow of heavy traffic is amongst the highest in the district which is one of the major factor of road accidents in the town.
“The road accidents’ analysis reveal that in majority of the cases, deceased were riding two-wheelers while the accused were driving heavy vehicles like trucks or tippers”, SP Tarun Rattan told Chandigarh Newsline.
Although Mohali police believe that drunken driving is also one of the factors responsible for road accidents, they have yet not been able to curb it. In the past six months, Mohali police icould challan just 26 persons for the offence of drunken driving. For checking two-wheeler riders, police challaned 2,870 violators for not wearing helmet.
A total of 257 road accidents were reported from July 2017 to December 31, 2017 in the district and 136 people were injured.
According to the traffic police, of these total road accidents two-wheelers were hit by other vehicles in 167 accidents while in 90, four-wheelers were involved. Of the 148 who died, 109 were riding two-wheelers.

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