The spot (circled) near the SDF crossing in Sector V where the accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon. The pile of sand on which Pradip Maity’s bike skidded had been removed when this picture was taken. (Mayukh Sengupta)
A young man was run over by a bus in Salt Lake’s Sector V on Wednesday afternoon after his bike skidded on sand dumped on the carriageway, a practice rampant in Calcutta despite the risk to life and limb.
The pile of sand responsible for the accident at 12.30pm that claimed 25-year-old Pradip Maity had been dumped for a beautification project by the Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority.
Rimpa Mammon, a colleague of Pradip’s in a catering company on College Street, suffered a critical leg injury that required surgery.
A guard who was on duty at the main gate of the Cognizant building, a shout away from the accident site, said he saw Pradip being flung onto the middle of the road after his bike skidded on the sand.
“A speeding bus coming from behind ran him over in an instant,” the man said.
An officer at the Salt Lake Electronics Complex police station said Pradip might have tried to overtake a vehicle from the left and lost control over his bike after skidding on the sand.
“The bus was definitely speeding. There is a stop just a few metres behind where the accident occurred but the bus possibly didn’t halt there. Had Pradip been on the right side of the vehicle, he would have possibly survived.”
The bus sped away after the accident. Pradip’s injured colleague Rimpa, who was riding pillion, identified the bus as an air-conditioned one. “We will soon trace the vehicle,” the police said.
Around 4pm, five workers were seen shifting the sand that had spilled onto the carriageway towards the pavement.
An official of the Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority said the pavement beautification project had been contracted to a private company.
Several other firms building highrises in the area dump construction material on the road.
“Careless dumping of construction material on the carriageway is definitely a problem in this part of town. Buses, taxis and private cars use whatever road space is available, leaving motorcyclists in danger of being knocked down any time,” said Shoumojit Basu, a BPO employee at the Infinity building.
Pradip, who was from Contai in East Midnapore, was on his way to meet a prospective client when the accident occurred.
Sources said his employer and another colleague had reached the Sector V office ahead of him and Rimpa to attend the meeting.
Rimpa, 24, had her right leg crushed under the weight of the TVS Apache bike. She was taken to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, where she underwent surgery on her right ankle later in the afternoon.
Pradip’s brother-in-law Santu Maity said the youth’s body was so disfigured that he was forced to discourage family members from taking a last glimpse.
Pradip used to stay in a rented room of a building on Amherst Street and commute on his motorbike, just as several thousand people do across a city where riding a two-wheeler is always fraught with danger.
For many young people working in IT and ITes offices in Sector V and New Town, a two-wheeler is their preferred mode of transport because other options aren’t available. Buses are few and taxis are not only expensive but also unavailable when they need one.