The dance of death is continuing on Cyberabad roads with over 600 lives lost and 1,800 injured in road accidents in the first six months of the year itself.
That meant 16 more deaths and an increase of 110 injured persons compared to the corresponding period the previous year. The disturbing figures are going up each year but the Cyberabad traffic police say they have little control over the “multiple factors” fuelling road accidents.
In Hyderabad, 215 deaths were reported in the first half of the current year. Compared to Hyderabad, volumes of traffic, area and movement of heavy vehicles is high in Cyberabad, the traffic police maintain. “Does that mean there will be more deaths as Cyberabad grows and the government agencies like traffic police remain mute spectators,” asks N. Sridhar, who travels daily on Medchal-Petbasheerabad road.
The Cyberabad Traffic DCP, Chandrashekhar Reddy, says the police can check over-speeding and drunken driving. “But we're helpless when it comes to road engineering defects and damaged roads causing accidents,” he observes.
He cites the example of Miyapur-Dundigal stretch, which has too many sharp turns, no divider and movement of heavy vehicles. With the limited manpower available, posting constables at each junction and pursuing with the civic authorities for improving the road condition was becoming a tough task, he explains.
Field-level traffic policemen claim regulation of traffic in Cyberabad is tough as modern outer ring road with several lanes, completely damaged Jeedimetla-Kompally roads and mud roads in Shamirpet co-exist in the area. None of the six traffic signal systems at six major junctions in Balangar are working, an officer points out.
Awareness about road safety and traffic rules is low among vehicle drivers in Cyberabad.
Triple-riding and over-loading of auto-rickshaws is common in Cyberabad and rarely seen in Hyderabad area. “If traffic police pass the buck onto civic authorities and the latter to absence of funds, who is to be blamed for the loss of lives,” questions Vamshi, a hotelier from Kushaiguda.
He points out that more people die in road accidents on internal roads than on State or national highways passing through Cyberabad. Focussing on accident-prone internal roads than on imposing challans in the name of violations by traffic police teams would bring the accident rate, he feels.