Pathetic road conditions in Himachal

PALAMPUR: The sudden increase in the motor accidents in Himachal Pradesh in past few days has caused serious concern among the common passenger. It has once again put question mark on the passenger safety and functioning of state transport department .

Every third day a motor mishap is reported from the state. According to official figures over 140 innocent persons have lost their lives in different road mishaps in the state in past nine months. In past three days fifteen persons had lost their lives in two bus mishaps. The situation is quite alarming.

Tall claims made by the Himachal Pradesh government to check the motor accidents in the state are only confined to files and nothing worthwhile has been done to ensure the passenger safety in the state. Though the state government is well conversant with the situation that 95 percent of the total population of the state are dependent on the road transport but the passenger safety has completely been neglected.

In most of the mishaps the private buses and maxi cabs were involved, it seems that state government did not learn any lesson and it has still had granted permits to private transporters on whole sale merely on political considerations, without looking into the conditions of those roads where the vehicles are to be plied. No one in the government is bothered to verify whether the roads for which permits were being issued are traffic worthy or not.

Though there has been manifold increase in the light and heavy vehicles in the state in past five years, state and interstate traffic has also gone up but the width of most of the roads are the same as it was 30 years ago. The state government has taken various steps for the widening of roads but very little improvement has been done in this field so far. Most of such projects have been hanging fire because official bottlenecks. The conditions of internal roads in the state are worst where frequent bus accidents are taking place. Besides, inferior quality of materials are used for the construction of road side retaining walls , which have been collapsing daily resulting in fatal accidents. The recent bus accident near Baroh in Kangra district was also because of poor condition of road.

According to official figures in past ten years, over 5705 persons in the state have lost their lives in different road accidents while over 33227 were injured. The state has a high rate of accident because of its difficult topography and narrow roads.

The another factor responsible for sharp increase of bus accident in the state is attributed to rampant corruption prevailing in the licensing wing of the transport department. No proper rules and regulations are followed while issuing the driving licenses.

In Himachal Pradesh “a accident free day” is a news while the heavy casualties have become a matter of routine.

Almost after every accident the state government orders probe into cause of accident, but no follow up action is taken on such reports. Sometimes vital issues are pointed out in such reports by the inquiry officer, such as improvement of particular portion of road where the accident was taken place but such reports remain confined to files and ultimately thrown to dust bin.

A senior journalist from Palampur.

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3 Comments

  1. says: Himachal voice

    Hi All,

    Its right Himachal is still in Crisis on how to develop Himachal Roads. Its a matter of thinking how would HP government will manage if we may have Airports, railway. How HP Govt will maintain our roads?

    No government has concern to Public safety. All concern When they needs votes. Not for particular one state distt. Its govt actions and polices which are always delayed.

    Thanks!

  2. says: Avnish

    Well, I don’t want to say much! But just show two photos of my recent summer trip, in 2008. These snaps are from the road nearby to Chintpurni temple. And I am told more than Rs. 2-3 crorers are donated by devotees during a navratri. How come utilizing those funds at least for the road near by to temple? We all know HP government is bankrupt! They have no money! A debt of Rs. 29,000 crores, that’s what they have! So forget they will do much! As they would do just public announcements, but at least donations by people should be accountable.Road near to famous Chintpurni temple

    Second pic…

    Road near to famous Chintpurni temple

  3. says: Rajneesh

    @ Mr. Avnish, Himachal government is not only getting financially bankrupt but its also ethically and morally bankrupt too. The leaders too blow anti corruption trumpets…just a stunt mania..just look at the rallies they organiase when CM is to inaugurate a small function in some village..a huge caravan of 100 vehicles follows..from where this extra money comes from to organise such show off rallies? its just like a starving family’s head is busy utilizing luxury and maintaining show off lifestyle and children looking for evening food..

    Regarding temples and trust..cores of rupees are collected…where does this money go? One can wonder where does this money go…to organise state sponsored rallies only..when VIP visits to temples..they (press) make good news…but can’t write something which disturbs all..

    Same is case with Manali…crores are rupees are collected in the name of Green Tax…from every vehicle entering..a slip/fee of Rs. 200/-vehicle is collected for cars and Rs. 300/- for buses..thousands of vehicles come every day and collection is in millions of rupees…and the situation of Manali…worse in terms of Parking and Basic amenities..Its a shame for Himachal government that after 2 decades of tourism development in Manali..the government / bjp/ congress both parties have utterly failed to provide basic infrastructure..not even a decent public toilet is not in Manali Bus stand..which is close to Mall road. What more can be expected .. these corrupt politicians are Anti national and anti social elements who have just one motto.. “Looting The Nation And Robbing Public Trust”

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