A DAY after the accident on the Kharar-Morinda road in which a school student was killed on Monday, it was business as usual. Neither had speed guns been installed on the road nor was there police patrol to check the vehicles, especially buses, plying on the road. The night patrol party of the district police was also found stationed at Khanpur Chowk, around 1.5 km away from the spot where the accident occurred. The spot, where the accident took place, is under construction and also known to be accident-prone.
“We are stationed here to deal with emergency situations. We have an ambulance and two patrol vehicles. We do not have any speed tracking vehicle,” said Jagir Singh, a head constable deputed with the night patrol team.
Everything seemed normal at the spot where the accident took place near Bhagomajra village. When the accident spot was visited on Tuesday, the cars and two-wheelers were being driven at low speed compared to the private and Punjab Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) buses.
“Bus drivers do not care about traffic rules. They always drive at high speed. Even on the under-construction road where many diversions are made, the drivers do not bother to slow down. Since we live near the accident-prone stretch, we have seen many accidents on this road,” said Atinder Pal Singh, a resident of Bhagomajra village. He further said that they have not seen any speed naka set up by the police ever on the road despite knowing that bus as well as car drivers drive at high speed on this stretch.
“The problem is with bus drivers. Since the road connects Chandigarh with Ludhiana, lots of private and government buses ply on this road. But, if you check the records, you will not find any challan being issued on this road for speeding,” aid Atinder Pal.
Satbir Kumar, who runs a dhaba about 300 metres from Monday’s accident spot, said the road was dangerous for driving and added that two-wheeler drivers were the worst sufferers of buses being driven at high speed.
“It was a big accident which was reported. But, we have witnessed many accidents which have not been reported. These buses are playing havoc here,” said Satbir. Speaking about Monday’s accident, Satbir said visibility was quite clear at the accident spot but the mishap occurred only due to the negligence of the PRTC bus driver.
Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Sukhwinder Singh, who is investigating Monday’s accident, said they have set up nakas on the road near Ghruan village. When asked how many speeding challans have been issued so far, the ASI failed to mention even a single challan issued in the last one year.
DSP (Traffic) G P Singh told Chandigarh Newsline that they have set up speed nakas on airport road, Mullanpur road and in Lalru but since the road is under construction in Kharar, they have not set up speed nakas for the last five months. “We have three speed-tracking vehicles and all in working condition. We have issued 26 speeding challans in the last one-and-a-half months,” he added.
Meanwhile, Balbir Singh, the PRTC bus driver who fled after Monday’s accident, surrendered on Tuesday. He was released on bail.