S. Harpal Singh
Police officers not amused by the new order
ADILABAD: Disciplinary action is being initiated against two police officers under a new order, for failing to take action against the errant vehicle carrying passengers that was involved in a ghastly road accident leaving 25 persons dead on National Highway 7 here on May 14.
The Inspector of Boath police station and Sub Inspector of Neredigonda police station became the first police officers in the State against whom charge memos were served for failing to book cases for illegally ferrying the passengers.
The order under which action was taken was intended to check increase in road accidents.
"Concerned over the large number of deaths in road accidents, the State Government had empowered Sub Inspectors to impose fine on vehicles overloaded with passengers in order to bring some discipline in traffic.
Any official found negligent in curbing overloading would attract the provisions for disciplinary proceedings," explained Adilabad Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar.
But police officers on the field have not taken kindly to the action. They point out that holding them alone responsible for accidents was not justified.
Not wanting to be quoted, they suggest that the Road Transport Authority and road engineering departments too should be held responsible.
Pointing to the problems they face, the police officers said only 15 of the Sub Inspectors were allotted departmental jeeps in the district.
The rest of them borrow local passenger jeeps for their daily use. "Even under such constraints we have booked cases against violators who lent us their jeeps.
In April alone, we booked 6,000 cases and realised nearly Rs. 6 lakh as fines from violators. Yet, the accidents could not be curbed because other concerned departments are not involved.
On the day of accident no official of the RTA showed up even as police and Revenue officials made arrangements," a police officer pointed out.
It is not the National Highway or the State highway which account for the highest number of deaths, they said. "The real culprit is the network of link roads which account for more than half the deaths every year.