Bus rammed into foot path, 15-year-old injured in Kozhikode
By Express News Service | Published: 16th July 2017 10:14 AM |
KOZHIKODE: On Thursday, a 15-year-old school student was injured after a private bus rammed into a footpath in front of the Government Veterinary Hospital on Wayanad Road here. This is not an isolated incident. The roads here are death traps, literally, for pedestrians. At least that is what the data available with the city traffic police indicate.
According to official figures, as many as 53 pedestrians were killed and 394 injured in accidents in the city last year. During the first half of the year, 27 pedestrians lost their lives and 219 others were injured in accidents. Footpaths along many roads are in a dilapidated condition and in some places there is no walkway at all, putting pedestrians at a grave risk.Hawkers routinely occupy the footpath at Palayam, Mananchira, railway station, Link Road, Bank Road Junction near Kurishupally and Mofusil bus stand, forcing pedestrians to use the road even during peak hours. Tea vendors, tender coconut sellers and people selling flowers, fruit and vegetables are also seen along the pavements. “Though we have evicted hawkers from footpaths many times, they were spotted again after a few days,” a police officer told Express.
In some other parts of the city, the pavements are occupied by vehicles, mostly two-wheelers, and display boards of nearby shops and establishments. In many cases, two-wheeler riders in a hurry use the footpath to bypass traffic and reach their destinations, caring two hoots for the safety of pedestrians.The absence of pedestrian crossings at important junctions is also a major cause for concern. Most of the roads in the city lack zebra crossings and the markings at some locations have faded away.
The absence of street lights has been pointed out as one of the major causes for accidents at night and also a reason for the vehicles to speed away after accidents.Reacting to the issue, Kozhikode Mayor Thottathil Raveendran said, “Footpath encroachers will be evicted with the support of the police and the Public Works Department. The Corporation has taken up the maintenance of footpaths and installation of street lights along the roads. The work will be completed in a phased manner.”
“We have been carrying out regular eviction drives against footpath encroachers,” District Collector U V Jose told Express. “The issue will be taken up for discussion at the next Road Safety Committee meeting. We will chalk out an action plan, including enforcement activities and awareness programmes, to ensure the safety of pedestrians.”