Kasaragod, Sept 19: The negligence on part of authorities, who failed to understand the consequence of potholes on Kasaragod – Chandragiri state highway has claimed the life of a future doctor.
The victim is Shivani Baliga (20), who was pursuing her MBBS studies at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. She is the daughter of Mahesh Chandra Baliga who was the former president of Kannur Chamber of Commerce, and resided near St. Michael's School, Kannur.
The girl lost her life when her scooter went out of control due to a potohole near Chandragiripalam between Kasrargod and Kanhangad on Sunday, September 17 night.
Shivani sustained serious injuries in the accident and was rushed to a private hospital, where she breathed her last the very next day. She is survived by her father, mother Anupama, and her brother Rajat Baliga, who is employed as an engineer in Bengaluru. Kasargod police have initiated an investigation into the incident.
Local residents and motorists had been urging the authorities at least to temporarily fill the potholes on the road to avert tragedies. The residents reiterated their demand when a 20-year old Ajit Kurup suffered severe injuries in an accident and landed in Mangaluru hospital a few days ago the same road. Had their demand been met at least temporarily, this major tragedy would not have happened.
According to reports at least eight two-wheelers were involved in accidents just two days (September 17 and 18) on the same road injuring many people including women and children.
The road through Chandragiripalam is full of potholes. Three huge potholes near Pulikun Junction pose major threat. Most of the potholes were at the end of the interlocked section between Chandrigiri Bridge and Chandragiri Junction and at a distance of 5 meters from there to the bridge. It is almost impossible for two-wheeler riders to escape these potholes.
After the major tragedy, the authorities took steps to fill some of the potholes temporarily with jelly stones without tar. However, due to rain and passing of cargo vehicles the some of the potholes have already reappeared.
Even though various organizations and drivers had repeatedly urged the authorities to take up the repair work before the commencement of the rainy season, no action was taken. Due to the construction work of the national highway, long-distance buses and goods vehicles ply on this road. The officials of the maintenance department on the other hand claim that the rains have hindered the pothole filling work.