Killer Highway!

Killer Highway!
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The Srinagar Jammu highway has yet again consumed the lives of people. Eleven people, including four women and five children, were killed and four others injured when a cab they were travelling in skidded off a road and fell into a deep gorge in Ramban district. The SUV, carrying 15 passengers from Chaderkote to Rajgarh, rolled into the over 500-feet-deep gorge when its driver lost control at Kunda nallah near Baglihar power house. This, to emphasize and underscore the rather gory point, is not the first time that accidents of such a nature have taken place on what appears to have become a “killer highway”. That accidents of a fatal nature are happening frequently must concentrate minds and focus the attention of both in charge of the highway and those who use it. It stands to reason to posit that because of its very nature, convoluted, high altitude and so on, the Srinagar Jammu highway, is a road that is rather open to accidents. But, this does not and should not mean that these happen. What, the question is, can be done to reduce fatal accidents on this particular highway to a bare minimum or even zero? First and foremost, places, like high altitude ones, where there is a higher probability of accidents, must be foreclosed for vehicular traffic, by the construction of tunnels, wherever possible. Where this kind of construction is not possible, robust concrete bunds can be built and developed so that if and when a given driver loses control, there is a buffer in place that can prevent fall into steep gorges and thus eliminate fatal accidents. Third, speed limits, which must be enforced with diligence must be devised and instituted. Third, there must be built in safeguards that ensure that vehicles plying on the highway must be motorable. That is, they must not be suffering from mechanical defects that also, at times, lead to accidents. Last, but not the least, there should be no drunken driving on the highway and those found guilty of this must be strictly dealt with. The measures delineated here are not exhaustive. There’s that can and must be done. But , these would constitute a useful starting point as preventative measures to deal with increasing and frequent fatalities on the Srinagar Jammu highway. Each life is precious and must be seen this way and let not these be lost anymore.