India's watery graves

The Thekkady tragedy is a sad testimony to India's continued neglect of public safety. The country has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways, which include rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. However, it has a long way to go before making them safe for passengers.

I am in total agreement with Mr. Saratchandran. I travel to rural areas as part of my job. The one thing which bugs me everywhere is the lackadaisical attitude of people regarding travel-safety. Its everywhere in India. Not only boats, you find small autorickshaws crammed with people. Imagine 10 people travelling in a 3 seater with the driver barely managing to control it and plying on a highway along with other heavy vehicles. A tempo trax would never move if only 10 people are present. Why? Because its empty.The local people everywhere seem to have accepted the fact that such is the state of things. Disasters are just waiting to happen.
Until and unless there are strict laws regarding enforcement of public safety measures, this attitude is going to persist.

from:  Manish Mani
Posted on: Oct 6, 2009 at 12:20 IST

It is well seen from all the pictures that the boats carry more persons than its normal capacity. People also should realise the danager and should desist from venturing into the waters for a gram of precaution will really a kilo of confusion.

Posted on: Oct 5, 2009 at 18:07 IST

If India wants to evolve from the third world status, she has to take some hard decisions in matters such as public safety and rules and by-laws that are effective and applied without fear or favor. It is such civilisational changes that mark the nation's status amongst other nations. Public liability insurance has to be made mandatory for all activities in public places and the organizers and owners need to be made responsible for any occurrences such as what happened in Thekkady. Politicising and whitewashing is not the answer. Arresting the driver without evidence of negligence is only a knee-jerk reaction to satisfy the people that something being done. Proper protocols and procedure need to be in place and need to be followed implicitly in such disasters.

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Oct 5, 2009 at 17:38 IST

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