Mangaluru, Dec 10, 2017: Traffic signal lights at the Nanthoor Circle have been dysfunctional for several months and are unlikely to be functioning. The accident at the circle on Dec 7, Thursday morning is blamed on this failure of traffic lights.
A bus plying from Bikarnakatte towards State Bank rammed into a container truck travelling towards Pumpwell from KPT. The truck in turn hit a car that was waiting for a clear road to ply. The serial accident left one dead and led to injuries to 31 people. Despite this, the departments concerned, instead of plugging loopholes, have been playing blaming all and sundry. The accident could have been averted had there been a functional traffic signal.
When contacted, Vijay Samson, project director of the National Highway Authority of India said, "NHAI installed the signal lights two years ago at a cost of nearly Rs 15 lakh. The upkeep is not our responsibility. It is the work of the traffic police. They have not been discharging their duty sincerely. I am not to be blamed."
Countering this, ACP Traffic Manjunath Shetty said it is indeed the duty of NHAI to maintain the traffic signals and not the responsibility of the police. "The signal lights are out of order. The NHAI should ideally be maintaining it. However, their officials do not seem to be bothered. It is 100% their inefficiency that has been causing traffic chaos across their jurisdiction," the ACP said.
He added that he had run short of ideas to repair the signal lights as he "did not know whom to approach" as the NHAI had refused to repair them citing jurisdictional limits.
Circle is unscientific: "The Nanthoor Circle doesn’t look like a circle on a highway. It looks like a circle in an interior region of the district. I wonder what the officials of the department were thinking while building it. I haven’t seen any circle which has an uneven base," Manjunath said, adding that the circle was not even aligned to the junction. When asked about the duration required to repair signal lights, he said he did not know who to approach as the NHAI had washed off it’s hands.
"We (traffic police) may have to take the help of the Mangaluru City Corporation in preventing further tragedies at the circle. We are planning to install a couple of speed breakers," he said, adding that minor potholes near the circles were being attended to. Manjunath suggested a flyover here was a must.