Thursday’s string of accidents in Jamshedpur in East Singhbhum district and Tata-Kandra Road in adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan has turned the spotlight as much on reckless driving as lack of traffic vigil on roads.
If police sources are to be believed, at least three of the accidents — two on Tata-Kandra Road and one at Bistupur — had occurred because of drunken driving. While in the first two fatal cases (see chart), drivers of heavy vehicles were drunk, in the Bistupur incident, both the 35-year-old unidentified man who got injured and the driver of the other speeding car that hit him were on a high.
Clearly, they were able to evade the traffic policemen manning the steel city streets and also Tata-Kandra Road.
But deputy superintendent of police (traffic), East Singhbhum, Rakesh Mohan Sinha evaded queries on the issue.
“Accidents don’t take place because of drink driving only. There are several other factors. Who says that we don’t carry out drive against drunk drivers?” he challenged.
Tata-Kandra Road also witnesses rash driving despite the speed limit of 45kmph.
Om Prakash, president of NGO Jan Kalyan Morcha, said: “Though policemen are posted at strategic points, they do not act against rash-driving or drunk driving.”
According to official records, nine people died on the stretch from January 1 till February 28 this year. In comparison, the death count from March 1 till today is seven.
Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Madan Mohan Lal said he was worried about the sudden spurt in fatal mishaps. “We are aware of the rise in road mishaps on Tata-Kandra Road and will take measures,” he said, adding that more traffic constables would be pressed into service to ensure that traffic rules are followed.