Following the unfortunate death of a yet another person as a result of the potholes on the road, citizens expect that someone is held accountable. This time, the victim was a three-year-old child. She was on a bike with her uncle and mother, when her uncle lost control of the vehicle on hitting a pothole. The child fell off the bike and was hit by an oncoming lorry.
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According to eyewitnesses, the road was choc-a-bloc with traffic as usual. There was a family of three on a bike – a man, a pregnant woman and a three-year-old child. A lorry kept honking incessantly behind them. The bike rider tried to manoeuvre his way through the traffic to avoid the potholes and give way to the lorry. He lost control of the vehicle and the woman and the child fell. While the woman and her unborn baby were safe, it was not the case for the young child. The lorry ran over her.
Chaithanya Samarpan (Assembly at Chaitanya Samarpan – 9 am)
Shantiniketan (Assembly at visitors car park, next to Gate 1 – 9.30 am)
Brigade Metropolis (Assembly near the shopping area – 10 am).
From Prestige Shantiniketan, the march will be on foot. All vehicles are to be parked at the Visitors Car Park in Prestige Shantiniketan.
SH35 – Chaitanya Samarpan – Hope Farm Junction – Right Turn – ITPL Main Road – Prestige Shantiniketan – Hoodi Junction – Brigade Metropolis – Mahadevpura BBMP Office.
Devraj, Joint Commissioner, Mahadevapura Zone, stated that while the potholes are certainly present on the road, the onus is on the commuters to be careful. With respect to the pending work on a gas pipeline, due to which some part of the road has been dug up and therefore contributes to the terrible condition of the road, he said that a letter has been sent to ensure that the work is completed on priority.
We spoke to Veerendra Mishra, a member of the Whitefield Rising group and a resident of Shantiniketan apartment. This is what he had to say: “The road is non-existent. If one manages to travel 100 metres without hitting a pothole, he should consider himself lucky.”
Residents in the Whitefield area plan to hold a protest on December 7, Saturday morning to attract the attention of the concerned authorities towards the unsafe condition of the road. Mishra stated that the protest was not only about the young girl who lost her life. “If it could happen to her and her family, it can happen to any of us. What we want is safe, motorable roads!” There are around 30,000-40,000 residents in and around this area, with an equal number working in companies close by. The state of the roads affects each one of them.
The protest will start from Chaitanya Samarpan apartment at 9:00 am, go through Hope Farm Junction, ITPL Main Road, Prestige Shantiniketan, Hoodi Junction, Brigade Metropolis and then proceed to the BBMP office opposite Phoenix Market City. Those interested in expressing their solidarity can contact Veerendra Mishra on veerendram1(at)gmail.com. Information about the protest is also available on the Whitefield Rising page on Facebook. The group is reaching out to all apartment buildings and companies in the vicinity in order to rally forces for the protest and has received an overwhelming response for the same. They expect a turnout of 400 – 500 people.
(Please note: From the BBMP office, people can choose to walk back or arrange for their own transport back to Shantiniketan to pick up vehicles.)
A petition is being made to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, BBMP Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Chief Engineer – Major Roads and the Councillors of Ward numbers, 54, 82, 55 and 56. A physical copy of the petition will be handed over to the BBMP Deputy Commissioner while all other parties will receive a copy by post. The protest on Saturday is meant to bring to notice the following issues.
1) The need for safe, motorable roads
2) Clean footpaths
3) Street lights on the stretch of road, which is otherwise pitch dark in the nights
4) Ban on illegal parking
Veerendra also stated that knowing the lethargy of the governing machinery, they do not expect any action to be taken immediately. The group is in for the long haul, as they are aware that matters will not be resolved in days or weeks. If there is no response to the protest and if action is not taken, the government can expect subsequent protests.