Demand to declare Karumathampatti junction as accident ‘black spot’

The junction place has witnessed repeated accidents on the service roads of the flyover.

The junction place has witnessed repeated accidents on the service roads of the flyover.  

The four road junction at Karumathampatty witnessed 15 accidents leaving 10 persons dead and 13 injured from February 2017 to December 2018, statistics obtained from police through the Right to Information Act revealed.

With repeated accidents reported at the junction where a flyover of Salem-Kochi National Highway intersects Annur - Somanur road, a demand has come up to declare the place as ‘black spot’ owing to alleged flaw in the design and engineering.

K. Mohanapriya (38), who was run over by a container truck on the service road of the flyover on Wednesday, is said to be the 13th person killed in accidents at the spot.

Consumer rights activist K. Kathirmathiyon, also a member of District Road Safety Committee, said that the junction should be declared as accident ‘black spot’ and the National Highways should be held liable for the engineering flaw as accidents are reported repeatedly.

“Repeated accidents at the junction indicate that there is a flaw in the design and engineering. The matter will be taken to the attention of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety headed by justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and also to the State government requesting to declare the place as ‘black spot’. Once declared as ‘black spot’, the defect will have to be rectified,” he said.

According to him, the lack of width for the service roads of the flyover at the junction was taken to the attention of the District Collector at a meeting of the Road Safety Committee held on Tuesday, a day before Mohanapriya was killed. He added that police and the motorists were left to suffer due to the design flaw.

D. Prabakaran from People’s Movement against Injustice, which has been demanding widening of the service roads at the junction, alleged that the National Highways compromised the width of the road at Karumathampatti unlike rest of the stretches of the highway between Chengapalli in Salem and Walayar of Tamil Nadu-Kerala border.

“Though the actual width of the highway is 60 metres, it has been reduced to 45 metres at the Karumathampatti junction. The width of the service road is 7.5 metres which is inadequate. We were told that problems in acquiring the land shrunk the size of the road at the junction. The stability of the flyover is also under question as the Highways is currently carrying out strengthening works,” he said.

As Mohanapriya was run over by the container truck on the service road at the junction, there is also a demand to prevent heavy vehicles from entering the narrow roads on both sides.

A police officer said that it was the duty of the Highways to keep warning boards before the two ends of the flyover to deny entry for heavy vehicles.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 6:35:10 AM |

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