The Seaport-Airport Road is turning into a death trap with over 27 accident cases registered this year, wherein three people were killed and 25 injured
Uneven road, lack of road markings and street lights and hazardous movement of goods carriers are the cited as reasons
KOCHI: Nearly two months ago Ambili, a CISF officer, lost her life after being run over by a tanker truck. The incident took place when she was trying to get her two-wheeler back on to the carriageway from the sidewalk on the Seaport-Airport road.
In another incident which happened around one year ago, a 28-year-old man died after a tanker lorry hit the scooter he was riding. There are more, like an incident wherein two people, including a college student, were crushed to death after a concrete mixer truck rammed into them. In another case, a speeding truck hit an auto-taxi, killing one. Recently, a loaded LPG tanker overturned but fortunately, the driver escaped with minor injuries. The tales of disasters don't end here and the Seaport-Airport stretch is undoubtedly turning into a death trap. The lack of infrastructure facilities and unscientific construction of the road are to be blamed for these tragedies.
According to the data sourced by the Traffic Police, this year alone around 27 accidents happened along the stretch, wherein three people were killed and 25 injured. The number of accidents during 2017 stands at 62, killing four people and injuring 57.
Potholes, uneven road, lack of road markings and street lights and hazardous movement of goods carriers and other heavy vehicles are the major reason for turning the road into a death trap.
The recent inspection conducted by the Police and the Motor Vehicle Department had found that the shoulder line on both the edges of the road caused accidents.
"There is a considerable difference in the level of the main road and the service/side roads. There is no bus bay on the entire Seaport-Airport stretch which causes further traffic blocks. Often accidents take place when cars and bikes attempt to overtake the bus that had halted at a stop. The team also found no traffic signs to alert drivers on any part of the stretch," the report reads.
"If Kakkanad was earlier famous for Infopark, Special Economic Zone and Smart City, now the area is getting a dubious status of being an accident hub. No day passes without the talk of an accident," said A Abbas, vice-president, Thrikkakara Municipal Residents Association Apex Council.
According to him, widening of the stretch from Bharat Mata College to Irumpanam into four-lane would bring down the number of accidents. "Despite the road posing a threat to the commuters, the PWD has taken a lackadaisical attitude. So far, there are no moves to put sufficient road signages or reflectors. The expansion of the junction is also crucial for reducing the number of accidents," said the resident.
Road widening in limbo
Though Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Limited widened the stretch from HMT Junction to Bharat Mata College into four-lane, the widening of an 8.5-km stretch from the college to Irumpanam still hangs in balance owing to fund shortage. Though the department sought Rs 190 crore from the state government for kickstarting the second phase of the project, it remains a non-starter.
" We too are waiting for the government fund to start the project. We hope it will be passed by the end of this month. A proposal to install road signages and reflectors too are part of the proposal," said the RBDCK officer.