TAMIL NADU

Driver loses control, water tanker hits college compound wall

CHENNAI AUG. 26. A water tanker early this morning hit and smashed a portion of the compound wall of the Stella Maris College and also damaged a Corporation lamp-post, after the driver lost control of the vehicle. However, no one was injured.

Ayyappan, driver of the lorry, was arrested, according to traffic police sources.

According to eyewitnesses, the private tanker, bearing the registration number TN-09-X-0459, was headed for the Gemini Flyover.

The lorry first mounted the pavement and rammed the lamp-post. It came to a halt after hitting against the compound wall.

In the collision, the post was broken into two and overhead electric cables were severed.

Witnesses said the wheels of the tanker got stuck in a gaping hole created in the wall.

``Otherwise the tanker would have gone far into the premises of the college.''

A few policemen who were on sentry duty at the junction of the Cathedral and Binny Roads had a providential escape.

The accident occurred not very far from the Stella Maris College bus stop.

The incident led to calls for closer monitoring of all water tanker lorry movements in the city.

So far this year, Metrowater tankers and other private lorries have been involved in 65 accidents, in which 14 persons were killed. Fifty per cent of those killed were two-wheeler riders.

The victims included two cyclists and pedestrians each and the rest included an autorickshaw driver and occupants of a van and an autorickshaw.

Today's incident also led to allegations of rash and negligent driving of water tankers on the city roads.

A couple riding a two-wheeler died on the spot after having been knocked down by a Metrowater tanker at Adyar in January.

Following complaints from residents, the city traffic police last week passed orders preventing the movements of these lorries for four hours a day on all city roads.

However, a couple of days later, the regulations were relaxed and Metrowater tankers permitted to ply on 13 arterial roads during these hours.

In February, the traffic police prevented only private lorries from plying for eight hours a day and subsequently permitted them to ply only during night.

According to traffic police officials, they would ask Metrowater officials to terminate the contract with the lorry operator if his vehicle was involved in a fatal accident.

In the case of a private lorry, they would write to the regional transport office to cancel the licence, said the officials.

Recommended for you