MALAPPURAM: Unscientific alignments, growing rate of motorisation, urbanisation and reckless driving have turned the roads in the district into death fields. Road accidents claimed a total of 385 lives in the district in 2017 while 402 persons succumbed to accident injuries in 2016. In 2015, 367 persons lost their lives on roads. “The grim scenario, according to Road Accident Action Forum (RAAF) president K M Abdu, speaks volumes about the lackadaisical approach towards road safety and laxity of authorities in curbing accidents by widening roads and lessening black spots. The number of accidents stood at 3,264 and 2,738 in 2015 and 2016 while it came down to 2,339 in 2017.
“The number may have gone down. But, the situation still remains alarming. Malappuram lacks a road safety policy. Besides, roads in the district are not developed in accordance with the increasing vehicle population,” Abdu said. As many as 3,264 injuries were reported in 2016 and 2015 while 2017 recorded 2,738 cases last year.
As per figures with RAAF, around one lakh vehicles are registered every year in Malappuram. But, roads in the district are not developed in accordance with the increasing vehicle population.The PWD has identified around 50 black spots in the district.Last year, the authorities drafted a plan to realign the black spots in a bid to bring down accidents. But, the plan didn’t take off.
The deadly NH
In 2016, 742 accident cases were reported on the 90-kilometre-long National Highway in the district due to unscientific alignment, lack of width and presence of unnecessary humps. A survey by the RAAF has found more than 35 per cent of the total accidents occur on this stretch.