J&K roads don’t take me home but to the graveyard cry people in the hills


Udhampur accident (2)When will the state government wakeup to the tragic loss of human lives on hilly roads in Jammu and Kashmir. If the chief minister, and his ministers do not travel in buses, and have the provision of flying in choppers, and driving in high end cars does that mean that ordinary folks will keep on dying, wasted on the roads which take us no where but the graves.

Hundreds of lives are lost every year due to poor roads, obsolete vehicles, lack of traffic enforcement in the hilly parts of the state but no one cares because those dying are mere mortals who have voted in the last election, and the government will need them only five years later. In between neither the bureaucracy nor the politicians have any time to look into the problems being faced by people even if they were dying. However, if the same number of people had been killed in a terror attack then the reverberations of these deaths would have reached across the country, and even abroad. The state would have announced major compensation for those killed but unfortunately the victims of road accidents do not deserve sympathy. The reason is perhaps they died because of our own apathy, and indifference to rules and regulations.

The failure of authorities in maintaining the roads, implementing traffic rules, preventing gross negligence by drivers, and owners of vehicles is causing these fatal accidents. These accidents have become a permanent feature on hills roads in the state but government has taken little or no cognizance of the problem. No high powered meeting of traffic officials, highway authorities has been called to find a solution for this problem. Traffic police in particular has to prevent that buses, and other commercial vehicles are not over crowded. The recent accident in Udhampur has revealed that 80 passengers had boarded the bus which had half the capacity.

Traffic officials who are meant to stop these kind of
transgressions were not present. The bus driver, who may or may not have been properly trained lost control, and the bus went into a deep gorge. The result is twenty four people are dead, and 50 wounded for no fault of theirs but those who were responsible for their safety are sitting pretty waiting for another incident to happen. There is shortage of buses in hilly areas, government buses have failed to serve the population, and stop gap measures are used by people to travel. Lack of traffic regulation makes this entire system dangerous, and prone to accidents. The government must wakeup take steps, and stringent measures to prevent the accidents in hilly roads of Jammu and Kashmir. If this does not happen soon it will be proved that government might change but the fate of the common man will never change in this strife torn state.

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