The Cochin Shipyard Workers’ Union will approach the High Court in connection with the death of a union member’s wife in an accident near the shipyard last Saturday.

Rakhi, 39, was crushed under a bus, in front of her husband and daughter, after she was thrown off a bike when it hit a ditch on MG Road. The bike was driven by her husband, Jayaprasad, a member of the CITU-affiliated union.

PIL to be filed

“We will file a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court and make the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) the respondents as soon as the courts reopen after the Onam vacation,” S. Krishnamurthy, secretary of the union and the CPI(M)’s Ernakulam area committee, told The Hindu.

He said the police had to register a case as criminal negligence by PWD and KWA was responsible for the death. The ditch on MG Road, near the busy Thevara Junction, remained unattended for more than two months and caused numerous minor accidents before claiming Rakhi’s life.

Two-wheeler riders losing balance on hitting the ditch was a common sight. After the accident, the PWD hurriedly repaired the deathtrap.

The road was dug up by the KWA, reportedly, to correct a leak in its feeder line to Fort Kochi.

Official apathy

KWA officials claimed they concreted the road after the work. However, PWD officials have put the blame for the accident on the KWA and their half-baked roadwork. The apathy of officials concerned has also come to light.

Letter overlooked

A month before the fatal accident, the Circle Inspector of Police, Traffic West, wrote to the executive engineer of PWD drawing attention to the threat posed by the ditch to motorists, especially two-wheeler riders.

Traffic cones placed by the police near the ditch proved ineffective. It was imperative to fill the ditch, the letter said.

The public might hold the PWD executive engineer accountable for accidents if the agency failed to repair the road, the letter had warned.

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