Unsafe and Dangerous

Unsafe and Dangerous
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The Srinagar Qazigund highway which has now been thrown open for traffic is not safe for driving. There are hardly any lights or reflectors along the highway which would make driving on it safer. Moreover, there is heavy construction going on this particular highway. Overall, this condition of the highway is reflective of the ad hoc planning that goes into the making of mega or even projects of a smaller size and scale in Kashmir. It would not be a matter of any import or consequence if human lives were not involved in these instances. On highways, motorists, often times, take recourse to speedy driving. If and when there are no reliable or, more accurately, if there’s no driving guides and aids like lights, or reflections, driving is done by virtue of sheer instinct which is a recipe for disaster. There is every likelihood of accidents and fatalities thus increasing the danger of driving on these highways. In the specific case in contention, while it is not clear why lights and reflectors are not in place, the blame by default falls on poor planning and cavalier or abysmal incorporation of road safety standards in the building, development and execution stages. The problem is compounded by rash and imprudent driving by motorists. In the developed world, where human life has more value, embedding safety and precautionary measures is not only standard and common practice but being remiss and negligent in these domains invites serious penalties. But, alas, in Kashmir, these measures are taken for granted much to the peril of people. It stands to reason that, to save people’s lives and prevent people from coming to grief, safety and precautionary measures be not only incorporated into the contracts of projects but also be included in the planning and execution phases. More importantly, there should be strict legal and financial penalties if firms and companies are found to be negligent in these domains. In terms of the case in contention, that is the Srinagar Qazigund highway, it is exigent that lights, reflectors and other precautionary measures and steps be taken on an urgent basis. This would not only save lives but also make driving safer and pleasant on this critical highway. Negligence will only be costly and exact prices that are irreversible. The time to act is now.

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