KOCHI: Considering the Metro rail work and the pathetic condition of roads in Kochi city, the Kerala High Court on Monday banned overtaking among city buses for a period of two months, within city limits.
Justice A Muhamed Mustaque directed the Road Transport Officer and Assistant Commissioner of Police to ensure that the buses are not allowed to overtake during the period.
“If any violation is committed, necessary action shall be taken against the operators of the buses, including cancellation of the permit,” the court held. The court posted the hearing of the cases to August 26.
The court directed the District Collector should see to it that no life of citizen in the city is put to threat on account of the pathetic condition of the road. The Collector should also take immediate steps to fill all the potholes in the city on a war-footing within a period of three weeks. The court passed the order on a petition filed by Rengadasa Prabhu, president of the Ernakulam District Residents Association Apex Council, seeking a directive to the Ernakulam District Collector to take steps to repair the broken roads in the city.
The court also impleaded the DMRC, KMRL, Police Department and the Assistant Commissioner of Police, traffic in the petition.
Counsel for the petitioner Sivan Madathil submitted that the roads are in a broken condition with large number of potholes. The present situation is also worsened by the construction activities undertaken by the Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The recent accident in which two pedestrians were killed was on account of the rash and negligent driving of the buses, the petitioner pointed out. The petitioner also submitted that many of the accidents arise on account of the attempt made by the drivers to avoid potholes and also on account of the narrow width of the road due to the Metro rail work.
P M A Kalam, Special Government Pleader for Public Works Department, submitted that the repair work has to be carried out by different agencies, to overcome the situation. A joint inspection was carried out by the KMRL, KMRL, KWA, Kochi Corporation and the NH authorities. It was decided to carry out the repair works immediately on a war-footing depending upon the availability of raw materials. The DMRC and the KMRL had agreed that the rectification works will be carried immediately in the parts of the roads where Metro rail work is on. The Kochi Corporation submitted that they have taken measures to overcome the situation.
Meeting to be Held Today
According to P P Shams, Assistant Commissioner (Traffic East), a meeting has been scheduled by the city traffic police on Tuesday with the representatives of bus owners and employees of the private buses at the Traffic West station. “We will give strict instructions to them regarding the proper implementation of the court directive. Besides,stringent action will be taken against the offenders,” he said.
BUS Driver Granted Bail
KOCHI: A Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Monday granted bail to the bus driver whose negligent driving led to the death of two women on Foreshore Road here last week. The court granted bail to M F Pexan, 36, of Cheranelloor, the driver of the bus ‘Coral’ which was involved in the accident in which two sisters Fathima and Nafeesa, of Thopumpady, died. The court granted bail after the driver executed a bond of Rs 10,000 and presented two solvent sureties. Pexan was asked to appear before the investigation officer whenever required.