Official apathy behind death of two people on Kozhikode roads

Official neglect deprives two children of their mother

Kozhikode: Several lives are lost on roads daily though it is known some fatal accidents could have been avoided had there been better roads, signages, vehicles or even drivers. A young woman and mother of two died here the other day after a lorry ran over her after she was thrown off the scooter after it hit a pothole. Ajitha, 44, the victim would have been alive today had the authorities covered it up promptly after the road was dug up by the personnel of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) on the Mavoor Road here. Meanwhile, a young man was electrocuted as he stepped on a live wire on a flooded street at Kovoor. Both the tragedies highlight the scant regard for public safety by the authorities.

Fateful trip

Ajitha was riding with her daughter Revathy when the accident occurred on Tuesday night. Revathy suffered grave injuries to her head and is under treatment.

The pothole that claimed Ajitha’s life on Tuesday night is at Parayanchery on Mavoor Road. Ajitha, a resident of Kaniyapatta Parambu in Malaparambu, had left home with her elder daughter Revathy around 7.30 pm for shopping.

Revathy, was to travel to China, where she studies, on Sunday. Revathy was brought home from hospital to have a last look at her mother.

Ajitha’s husband K C Anoop grew anxious when Ajitha and Revathy did not return even late at night. Later, he received the news of the accident and Ajitha’s demise.

When Ajitha’s body was brought home, her younger daughter Aparna, a Class 7 student of Presentation School, was inconsolable.

Ajitha worked as the reception in-charge at District Cooperative Hospital, while Anoop is a head clerk there.

Their colleagues broke down when her lifeless body was brought to her workplace.

Ajitha’s last journey was also in the ambulance of the Cooperative Hospital. She was taken to the crematorium at Mavoor Road by 2 pm on Wednesday for the last rites, which were performed by her nephews.

Engineer arrested

Meanwhile, an assistant engineer of the KWA as arrested over the death of Ajitha based on a directive of the Kozhikode District Collector. The engineer is K Binoj Kumar attached to the Athanikkal section of the state water supplier.

Binoj was later let off on station bail.

The pothole that claimed Ajitha’s life developed after a KWA pipeline developed a leak. Even though the leak was plugged and concrete applied over it, the pothole appeared again.

Collector Sambasiva Rao, who rushed to the spot after the mishap, convened a meeting of officials from the City Corporation, Public Works Department and KWA that night itself. During the meeting, the lapse on the part of the KWA was identified as the cause of the fatal mishap and the Collector immediately issued the orders to arrest the engineer.

Another tragedy

In another instance of official apathy, a young man lost his life at Kovoor on the outskirts of Kozhikode city on Wednesday. Shameer was electrocuted when he stepped into a puddle in which a live electric power line had fallen.

A resident of Pantheerpadam in Kunnamangalam, Shameer worked at a grocery shop. He had gone out to collect carry bags for the shop when the tragedy struck.

When Shameer failed to return to his shop even after a long time, a search was launched and he was found electrocuted to death.

Shameer's funeral was held at Pantheerpadam mosque.

Many local people had informed the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) authorities that there was no power supply in the area.