Alappuzha: Every road accident victim is a teardrop that refuses to dry from the eyes of the near and dear ones long after the accident has occurred. If the victim is a young member of a family, the impact and shock is much deeper.
The residents of Punnapra panchayat relive this hard fact as they observe World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday (November 19), close on the heels of the death of 22-year-old Krishnachandran in a bike accident near Kalathittu Junction in the village on Friday.
Son of Ambalappuzha South Panchayat president Manoj, Krishnachandran was proceeding to park his bike at a house in the village before embarking on his journey to attend an interview for recruitment to Delhi police when the accident involving a heavy vehicle occurred on the NH-66 stretch claimed his life.
The villagers are angry and upset over the recurring accidents on the stretch, which is the hub of activities as part of the NH expansion project being undertaken across the state. The unscientific manner in which the expansion has been undertaken has claimed 10 lives in one year itself on the stretch passing through Punnappra village, while in the recent month three persons lost lives.
“We all know that when bread-earning members of a family are lost to accidents how severe the impacts can be. The NH expansion is being carried out quite unscientifically, leading to these accidents. While one side of the NH is filled with sand and raised, the other part does have limited space. When the vehicles rush from one side, those coming from the opposite side don’t have enough space on the flank to escape. Thus accidents occur. Authorities, including the NHAI, have not put up any warning signs,” said Advocate Pradeep Kootala, a member of Kripa, a collective of people engaged in health, environment, education, and humanitarian activities in Punnapra, which is observing the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at the Kalathittu Junction today.
Hamza A Kozhuvelly, another member of the organisation, said recurring accidents can be curtailed only by ensuring stringent punishments, including rigorous imprisonment. “Authorities need to open their eyes to the reality; then only we can have a peaceful life and our families can have a secure future,” said Hamza.