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Potholes deaths Civic body and contractor must be punished – D Roopa

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D Roopa, Commissioner, Road Safety and Traffic Bengaluru has recently said that A good number of accidents occur because of apathy by road construction authorities.

She has written to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha, suggesting certain changes to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, passed recently by the Lok Sabha and awaiting approval by the Rajya Sabha. The Select Committee is expected to submit its report on the first day of the Winter Session. The Bill, recently passed in the Lok Sabha, is yet to be approved in the Rajya Sabha.

She has suggested making road construction authorities criminally liable for accidents arising out of potholes and unscientific speed-breakers. Criminal liability should be imposed on the road construction authority like National Highway Authority, State Highway Authority and the municipal corporation for accidents due to pot holes. Because we see most of the accidents are caused due to potholes and these agencies constantly ignore the potholes.

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The commissioner also suggested amending Section 50 of the Motor Vehicles Bill to make it mandatory for buyers and sellers of used vehicles to appear before the jurisdictional RTO and get the ownership transferred.

Pointing out that in most accidental road deaths, especially involving two-wheeler riders were arising primarily due to potholes and unscientific speed-breakers and not due to negligent driving, Roopa suggested that the road construction authorities -NHAI, PWD or the civic body should face punishment for their negligence.

Belagavi has also seen deaths due to potholes, if her suggestions are accepted it will be a landmark as no where have we heard that the contractor or the civic authority who built the road is held responsible for such deaths due to potholes.

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