The police are seeking legal opinion on whether the Public Work Department’s Mulanthuruthy office could be charged with criminal negligence in connection with the death of two young men on Friday near Kureekkad railway gate.

Sources in Chottanikkara police said prima facie, the accident could have been avoided if the PWD had repaired potholes near the gate and cleared stones and other debris from the road side.

A lorry passing by ran over the two men after their bike skidded off the slush and stones heaped on the road side. They had veered away from the road towards the drain to avoid a huge pothole, but were crushed to death after the bike fell on its side.

Even before the monsoon began, the public had been demanding that the PWD repair and resurface the road.

Reacting to the gruesome incident, a PWD official said potholes had developed because of water logging. “The smooth flow of water was affected after people filled up an adjacent drain. We removed stones and debris from the drain and had heaped them on the road side, following which the accident took place.”

On Saturday, workers engaged by the agency cleared the stones and temporarily restored the road. The police, however, are convinced of the PWD’s culpability and officials of the department may have to answer questions.

Similar heaps of gravel and other construction material are lying on roads and footpaths in many other parts of the district as well.

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