| Calcutta protested silently against reckless driving and deaths on the road as a large number of people lit candles in memory of those killed by speeding buses and marched from Citizen’s Park to Victoria Memorial on Sunday evening. For four weeks now, Metro has been campaigning against racing buses while the politicians and the police look the other way. “I hope today’s protest has an impact on the administrators. Every single day, I remain tense till my daughter comes back home from school,” said Priyanka Wadhera, who travelled from Girish Park to take part in the walk, organised by Red FM. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta
The streets turned red yet again on Sunday.
A motorcyclist was killed and his pillion-rider seriously injured after the two-wheeler collided with an ambulance moving down the wrong side on the AJC Bose Road flyover in the afternoon.
According to police, the accident took place around 4.15pm on the northern flank of the flyover, a few minutes after a speeding biscuit-laden Matador, headed towards Park Circus, overturned due to a burst tyre.
“Seeing the Matador overturn, the ambulance driver stopped. He then made a U-turn and started moving down the flank in the wrong direction. The motorcycle, which, too, was moving fast, crashed into the ambulance,” said deputy commissioner (traffic) Manoj Verma.
Motorcyclist Jamshed Alam, 29, and pillion-rider Mohammad Naseem, both from Tiljala, lay on the road in a pool of blood while the two-wheeler was flung 50 metres away.
The ambulance drove away and had not been traced till late at night.
That an ambulance broke traffic rules in a high-speed zone shows what little regard motorists have for the law — a fact that Metro has been highlighting in its campaign for safer roads.
The driver of a taxi moving down the other flank of the flyover informed a traffic sergeant about the mishap. “The two were taken to SSKM Hospital. Blood was oozing out of their noses and mouths,” said an officer of Maidan police station.
The chief minister’s convoy was to travel down the southern flank of the bridge at 4.50pm, so the blood stains were removed quickly and a crane was pressed into service to remove the Matador. The crane disrupted traffic on the northern flank for over an hour.
“The motorcyclist could not control the vehicle at such high speed. He and the pillion-rider sustained serious injuries on their head and chest,” added the officer.
According to him, the number of fatal accidents in the city goes up on Sundays. “People go out with their families on Sunday and try to accelerate, resulting in mishaps,” was his explanation.
Another young motorcyclist was killed on Sunday after he dashed against an electric feeder box near the intersection of Dr Sundari Mohan Avenue and CIT Road.
The police said Susmit Ganguly, a 23-year-old call centre employee, had not worn a helmet and was riding a black Pulsar at high speed. His parents said his wallet was missing from his pocket.
“It was not a hit-and-run case. He probably lost control and hit the feeder box while returning from a late-night party. He was rushed to Chittaranjan Hospital, where he was declared brought dead,” said Anil Kumar Jana, the officer-in-charge of Beniapukur police station.
Ganguly, a resident of Palm Avenue, had fractured his legs in a motorcycle accident six months back.