Lack of road-hazard alert signs leads to accidents

Kolkata : 28 June, 20219(Times of India)

Kolkata: Hours after the death of a police officer, who fell on a dug-up road near Chiria More on Thursday morning, TOI came across several such spots where roads have been dug up by utility agencies, making them nightmares for motorists. The situation turns worse as these sites lack basic warning signs to alert road users.

One such dangerous ditch was found at the Park Circus Connector opposite Science City. The dug-up part has hardly been barricaded to alert motorists and pedestrians. The situation is the same on Raja SC Mullick Road at Jadavpur, where the sidewalk has been dug to widen the road without any warning signs.

Similar stretches can be found on S N Banerjee Road near Jan Bazaar and in front of Wellington Square. “All these dugup parts can turn death traps at night. They should be adequately barricaded with fluorescent guard walls. By neglecting these basic safety measures, utility services agencies put safety of motorists and pedestrians at risk,” said A K Das, former head of traffic and transportation planning directorate.

About two months ago, businessman Rajdeep Coomar’s car was damaged when a bus rammed it from behind after he had slammed the brakes after spotting a ditch on the middle of Gariahat Road.

The following day, police placed a steel barricade without any reflectors. It remained so for nearly a fortnight before repairs were carried out The apathy of civic agencies, both in Kolkata and Salt Lake, in not taking measures like cordoning off the section of road being dug up and installing warning lights to caution motorists has led to many accidents. In Kolkata, only CESC has been using caution tapes for the past few years. In Japan, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Here Technologies have piloted a road hazard alert system that provides lane hazard warning to drivers.

Times View

Civic authorities, public sector companies and private firms that dig roads and pavements for laying utilities or repairing them should take all precaution to ensure that the area is properly cordoned off and warning signs are in place.