CHENNAI: A 53-year-old resident of Kancheepuram, who had been campaigning to stop stone quarry lorries from plying through his village — putting peoples lives in danger— was hit by a lorry while riding his bike Tuesday.
His wife, who was riding pillion, was killed on the spot while the man was hospitalised with injuries. Even though the police claimed it to be an accident, villagers staged a protest demanding the authorities to stop lorries from plying through their village.
Pandidurai and his wife Maheswari (45) were residents of Thirumukkudal near Uthiramerur. Police said Pandidurai was an employee of a private company in Kancheepuram. “On Tuesday, the couple were on their way to Uthiramerur. Around 7 pm, when they crossed the Salavakkam main road, a tipper lorry hit their bike and sped away. While Maheswari died on the spot, Pandidurai was rushed to the Kancheepuram GH,” a police officer said.
‘Quarry lorries create havoc in village’
The villages of Mathur, Siruthamur and Salavakkam are dotted with stone quarries and stone-cutting factories. Residents alleged that tens of lorries carrying huge loads ply through their village avoiding the bypass road through Salavakkam.
“The trucks carry huge stones, more than the permitted weight, and accidents happen often as the village roads are not fit enough to handle such traffic. At least eight accidents have happened in the past one year, killing five persons,” K Lakshminarayanan, a resident of Salavakkam, said.
Speaking to Express, a senior police officer said Pandidurai had approached the Salavakkam police station several times demanding that the lorries not be allowed to ply through their village, to avoid accidents.
“On Monday, Pandidurai came drunk to the police station and created a ruckus blaming the authorities for being partial. He was sent home with a warning after his wife pleaded with the police,” the officer said. The police said they have launched a hunt for the lorry driver who is absconding.