Mangaluru, Feb 22, 2020: Mangaluru East Traffic police station issued a notice holding NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) officials responsible for the death of a student near Nanthoor junction.
The traffic cops issued a notice to NHAI, based on a complaint of criminal negligence filed by elderly activist Jerard Towers.
Exactly a week ago, Jerard Towers was a troubled soul after being informed on how a student with thousands of dreams had met an untimely death by getting crushed under the rear wheels of a truck near Nanthoor junction.
Karthik Mallya, a second-year degree student in Besant Evening College, was returning from Suratkal to Nanthoor when the accident took place.
Karthik, who was the vice president of students council, died on the spot after his skull was crushed under the rear wheels of the truck near a furniture showroom.
That same evening, Towers filed a case of criminal negligence against NHAI and engineer Shivashankar at the East Traffic police station.
Jerard said a month ago, he had complained to NHAI about the sliding of
bitumen, due to unscientific road engineering works, and creating depressions like waves on the 250 mt stretch from Padua college to Nanthoor junction.
“The stretch from Nanthoor junction to Kulashekar also has 150 such depressions. I had warned NHAI that there will be accidents if the dangerous grooves were not removed,” he recollected.
“Even those participating in motor racing would lose their balance and tumble on the road. Just days before Karthik’s accident, an ASI attached to traffic department fell on the road. Karthik, the only son of his parents, however, was unlucky,” Jerard says with anguish.
Towers decided to file a criminal negligence case against NHAI, as officials should be punished for their mistakes.
“Only such complaints will make officials aware of their responsibilities,” he stressed.
Vasappa Gowda, serving as Librarian in Besant Evening College, told DH that Karthik was a disciplined student. He was working to support his parents, he said and added that
the students council will submit a memorandum to Traffic department demanding compensation for parents of Karthik.
NHAI engineer Shivashankar did not return the call.
Sources in East Traffic Police Station department told DH that due to scarcity of bitumen, the work on asphalting of NH 66 from Padua college to Nanthoor junction was delayed.
NHAI officials have promised to expedite work and remove the depressions to prevent accidents, sources added.