Durgapur, June 26: A year earlier, a Class IV girl sitting near the door of her schoolbus was flung out of the vehicle and crushed under its wheels when it hit a pothole. Even today, “the death trap” remains gaping.
A year has passed and the potholed stretched has seen a number of accidents, but all the Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA), responsible for maintaining the Durgapur-Faridpur road, has done is float tenders for the repair. The ADDA had promised last year that the stretch would be repaired soon and Rs 5 crore had been alloted for it.
ADDA chairman Tapas Banerjee assured work would start soon. “Floating of tenders and other formalities are over and now work will start soon,” he said.
Goutam Pan, who runs a tea stall along the road, said the potholes had led to many accidents. “Almost everyday, one or two persons riding on motorbikes fall off because of the potholes. The situation is worse at night and during the monsoon. The panchayat filled up the craters with morams but it washed away within a few months. Early this month, a mini-bus overturned and the helper standing on the footstep was crushed under the wheels,” he said, recollecting how Karuna Singh of DAV Model School was crushed under the wheels a year ago.
“The potholes you are seeing today were filled with water on June 27 last year and the driver of the bus might have unnoticed it. The front left wheel hit the hole and the girl fell of from the doors and was crushed,” Pan said.
Karuna’s uncle Mukesh Singh said the administration had not bothered to repair the road as the victim belonged to a non-influential family.
“Who has time for common people like us? My niece would not have fallen off the bus had the condition of the road been good. Our sorrow still remains the same just like the condition of the road,” said Mukesh, a trader.
Karuna’s brother Rahul, who had fainted on seeing her sister’s body, was sent to his relative’s home in Durgapur after the accident. “I still weep when I cross the accidents spot while going home. I sometime wake up at night in horror. The condition of the road remains the same,” Rahul said today.
As Karuna’s family prepares to observe her first death anniversary tomorrow, the girl’s mother Kiran said: “I have lost my only daughter in the accident and have seen the death trap again and again whenever I visit my relatives in Durgapur. The potholes snatched my daughter from me,” sobbed Kiran.
The chief of the Trinamul-run Ichapur gram panchayat Shantimoy Banerjee said they had repaired the road with morams but did not forget to pass the buck on to the ADDA. “The road is maintained by the ADDA and it is up to them to repair it,” he said.