KOCHI: Last week, Jerin, a mechanical engineer from Kaloor, was taking a diversion at Banerji Road near Janatha Junction bus stop on his scooter. Before he could balance himself, he was thrown off the vehicle after his scooter got entangled in a rope tied across the road. Though he escaped with minor wounds, not everybody may be that lucky.Even after receiving the circular from Director General of Police Loknath Behera to use deviation boards and reflectors instead of ropes to divert traffic, Kochi City Police is continuing with the practice, putting the lives of commuters at risk.
The circular was issued following the Kerala State Human Rights Commission directive to stop the
unscientific practice a month ago. Besides using “Take Deviation” boards and reflectors instead of ropes, the circular advises the district police chiefs to post sufficient number police officers at the point and position the boards at places which are visible to the drivers from a very far point.
Surprisingly, the authorities ar not even aware of the issue.
“I am yet to look into the circular. We used to tie ropes in traffic cones to regulate the vehicular flow. In certain situations, we have no other option,” says M P Dinesh, District Police Chief. On the other hand, various organisations representing the public are blaming the lethargic approach of the officials for such
mishaps. “Most of the accidents happening in the city are due to the mistakes in road layouts and lack of road signages.
But we always blame it on overspeeding,” says S Gopakumar, president, Better Kochi Response Group.
Pointing out many such issues, the organisation has already approached the Regional Transport Officer.
“We have been constantly following the issue for while. It has become a serious threat to two-wheelers. We are going to meet the district police chief soon,” he states.
Lack of scientific methods
Our system doesn’t have an advanced scientific method to curtail the accidents and whatever done so far is in an ad-hoc manner. Due to the improper positioning of speed breakers, many accidents are happening these days. All these reflectors, boards and other methods should alert the drivers from far,” says
D Dhanuraj, Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR).