Where's the Zebra Crossing, Ask Schoolchildren
By Toby Antony | Published: 12th December 2013 08:56 AM |
Even though ‘Pappu Zebra’ is the mascot of the police road safety campaign, the zebra crossing is hardly seen on roads near school precincts these days. This reflects the sheer apathy of the authorities concerned. Zebra crossings are missing on the roads near the majority of schools in the city making it vulnerable to mishaps.
Even though crores of rupees have been allotted to the district administration for the road safety programme each year, it is doubtful whether the money is being utilised properly. “During the traffic awareness classes conducted frequently in schools, students invariably point out the absence of zebra crossing on the road in front of the school and ask us why it is so. For such questions, we have no answer. These matters were reported to the officials concerned but no measures have been taken. It’s more than six months since the academic year commenced, but the Public Works Department (PWD) is yet get the Zebra crossing drawn on the roads in front of several schools,” a police official said.
According to police officials, whenever they bring it to the notice of the PWD, they are told that the lines would be drawn after the rainy season. But when they were reminded about it after the rainy season ended, the PWD authorities said it would be drawn by the next academic year. “The roads near many schools in the city have not sported a zebra crossing over the past five years even though it is a necessity. We will take this up at the Road Safety Authority meeting this month,” a police official said.
However, on contacting the PWD officials, they said that due to Metro Rail project, the zebra lines are drawn on roads near schools on which metro rail would pass.
However, they have not received any information from the district administration or the police asking them to redraw the zebra lines near other schools.
Ernakulam District Collector, P I Sheik Pareeth said that the Public Works Department would be asked to mark the zebra crossing on the roads near the schools soon.
“The PWD is carrying out the repair of damaged roads now. We will ask them to mark the zebra crossings in front of schools as soon as possible,” said District Collector Sheik Pareeth.
The matter will be raised in the next Road Safety Authority meeting and necessary action will be taken soon, said the Collector.