Kerala HC slams PWD engineers for potholed roads

In the wake of two-wheeler rider’s death, HC asks engineer to explain delay in road repair

September 16, 2022 09:04 pm | Updated September 17, 2022 09:13 am IST - KOCHI

Vehicles trying to navigate a potholed stretch in Kochi. The Kerala High Court has slammed the PWD for the shoddy upkeep of roads.

Vehicles trying to navigate a potholed stretch in Kochi. The Kerala High Court has slammed the PWD for the shoddy upkeep of roads. | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Slamming the Public Works department (PWD) and the State government for the shoddy upkeep of roads, the Kerala High Court on Friday asked how many more people must die in accidents caused by potholes. The court observed this orally in the wake of a two-wheeler rider getting killed on Wednesday on the ill-maintained Aluva-Perumbavoor-Munnar Road.

He is the latest victim of potholed roads in the State. Questioning the efficiency of the department’s engineers, Justice Devan Ramachandran wondered why engineers had been posted in the department. People dying or suffering injuries due to inaction of engineers cannot be condoned, he said.

‘Collectors responsible’

On the ‘apathy’ of engineers who mostly travel in official vehicles, he directed the engineer concerned to present himself before the court on Monday to give reason, if any, for the delay in repairing the corridor. He also spoke of summoning the District Collectors concerned to the court, if roads in Kerala continued to remain ill-maintained, since they too were responsible to ensure safe roads. He further demanded that the Ernakulam District Collector submit a report on the plight of the road as had been directed.

He said people dying because of bad roads, at a time when governments were speaking of development, was shocking. “It appears that we are living in the 18th century,” the judge said.

Responding to the counsel for the government saying that the son of the accident victim had hinted at the deceased having had low blood sugar, the judge said the victim must not be further demeaned.

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