Potholes claimed 38 lives in 2015

But the Road Accidents in India Report of 2015 reveals that speed breakers have claimed more lives in the State

July 24, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:32 am IST - Bengaluru:

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 14/07/2016 : Pothole seen on St Joseph church Road in Bengaluru on July 14, 2016. 
Photo : Sudhakara Jain.

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 14/07/2016 : Pothole seen on St Joseph church Road in Bengaluru on July 14, 2016. Photo : Sudhakara Jain.

One hundred and eighty-two is the number of road accidents caused by potholes or ‘rutted’ roads in Karnataka in 2015, resulting in 38 fatalities and 176 injuries.

The city’s pockmarked roads even prompted a comment from Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka on Friday. The Division Bench also expressed hope that civic agencies and the government would take steps to fill potholes and repair roads.

The Road Accidents in India Report of 2015 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways placed Karnataka (44,011 accidents) among the top 13 States which accounted for 86.7 per cent of all road accidents, also figuring in the upper bracket of fatalities in road accidents (10,856) and for injuries (56,971).

While 465 accidents and 82 deaths in the State were caused due to the road being under repair/construction, 248 accidents occurred because of ‘loose surface’, resulting in 55 deaths.

Apart from the 182 accidents caused by potholes, speed breakers contributed to a large number of accidents (2,310) and deaths (507).

This need not be the case, said Ashish Verma, Associate Faculty, Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

“Potholes come as a surprise. Motorists are not able to cope with them. From a technical perspective, there is no dearth of knowledge or guidelines for road infrastructure to last for five to six years without any maintenance. It involves basic civil engineering,” he said.

Professor Verma also pointed to a non-technical issue: holding engineers and contractors accountable.

“It is my request to the honourable High Court to also say that once repaired, a road has to last at least five to six years. If they don’t, the officers concerned should be penalised,” he added.

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