A 17-year-old girl was run over by a water tanker while cycling to school on Monday morning. Residents and school authorities claim that overspeeding water lorries have become a menace for road users and there has been no action from the police or the local administration on the issue.
According to police, M. Periyanayagi, the elder daughter of Muthuveerapan and Chitra Devi, was a resident of Kamadhenu Nagar in Avadi. She was a class XII student at Venkateshwara Matric Higher Secondary School. Her brother Subbiah, a class X student, also studies in the same school.
On Monday morning, the siblings left for school on their cycles. When they were on Ayyapakkam Main road in MGR Nagar, she was knocked down by a water tanker which was travelling at a high speed.
The rear wheel of the lorry ran over her and she died on the spot. Residents who witnessed the accident stopped the lorry, caught hold of the driver Rajendran (53) and handed him over to the police.
Angry residents then staged a road-roko demanding action against speeding water lorries which have become a menace on the Ayyapakkam – Tiruverkadu stretch known as Koladi Road. “Two years ago, we protested and then the movement of water lorries on the stretch was stopped. Now it has started again and they drive rashly,” said R. Pasupathy, member of CPI(ML), and a resident of the locality.
“Drivers are paid based on the number of trips. So they try to earn more by driving at high speeds. Thus, a lot of accidents take place on the stretch. There are no speed breakers on the stretch either although this is an area with around 20 schools,” he said.
Periyanayagi’s friends and the school authorities fondly remember her as a very calm student. “She joined the school last year and was a good friend. She was very obedient,” recalled classmate Divya Priyadarshini. School principal Uma Kannan said Periyanayagi was exceptionally good at Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science.
She said that there are no traffic police officials to help children during peak hours. “We have written to the officials concerned but no action has been taken,” she said.