Pothole death: case against NH authorities, contractor

Hashim (right), a Manjali native, riding a bike died after falling into a pothole (left) at Nedumbassery along the Edapally-Mannuthi (NH 544) stretch. Photo: Manorama

Kochi/Thrissur: The police have registered a case against the National Highway Authorities and the contractor for causing the death of Hashim, a Manjali native, who fell into a pothole while riding his two-wheeler at Nedumbassery on the Edapally-Mannuthi (NH 544) stretch.

Efforts are also on to trace the vehicle that hit Hashim soon after his bike fell into the pothole.

The victim’s relatives and local residents besieged the Paliyakkara toll plaza at Thrissur, protesting the authorities' negligence in carrying out timely repair works, which they alleged led to Hashim’s death. They demanded highway authorities to fill up the potholes immediately.

Talks were held between the protestors and the toll plaza authorities in the presence of Puthukkad Police. The authorities gave assurance that all the potholes along the NH stretch would be filled up in 24 hours, following which the protest was withdrawn.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the Centre would interfere if there was  any lapse in the development of national highways. “None has held discussions over the matter so far. We are ready for talks with Public Works Minister P A Muhammed Riyas,” he said.

Satheesan alleges maladministration

Leader of the Opposition in Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan said the pre-monsoon work to fill up potholes on roads maintained by the Workd Departs (PWD) have not been carried out. “This points out the maladministration on the part of the PWD. There are so many potholes on PWD roads and national highways. Works department should carry out the repair work on  NH stretches that are yet to be handed out to NH authorities. This shows the minister’s inexperience. He shouldn’t try to teach me based on what is being advised by PWD officials,” he said.

Riyas slams oppn leader

"The Opposition leader is trying to create controversies by making false statements. The state government is not responsibile for the national highways. It’s also not true that the pre-monsoon works were not carried out. It is sad that the Opposition leader is attempting to take political mileage out of the incident. He should not merely spell out words as advised by others. He is trying to take advantage of a situation where a man had lost his life,” the minister said.


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