Road and bridge construction in the state; Protocol on precautionary measures should be framed: HC

Road and bridge construction in the state; Protocol on precautionary measures should be framed: HC

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has directed the state government to frame a protocol on the safety and precautionary measures to be followed in the construction of roads and bridges in the state.

Justice Devan Ramachandran issued the directive while referring to the death of a youth in a bike accident on the Andhakarathodu bridge which is under construction in Thripunithura Market Road. The high court also directed the government and the Public Works Department to ensure that the protocol is strictly followed.

The court observed that lack of sufficient lighting or warning at public construction sites increase the risk of accident. If there is no light at the construction site, people driving at a speed of more than 40 kmph will not be able to identify them. There is a feeling that if there was a barricade, the accident would have been avoided. The court said that if such precautionary measures are ensured at construction sites, that can attract the attention of people who are always in a hurry.

The government's counsel informed the court that the concerned engineer has been suspended and a case has been registered against the engineer and the contractor. The court observed that there is no point in fixing responsibility on someone after the incident takes place as usual. The loss caused to the families of the deceased and injured cannot be compensated by taking action after the accident, the court added.

It is a shame that such incidents are happening, despite technological developments. Neglecting even the basic necessities is the curse of the system. Due to this, the life of ordinary citizens is in danger. There will be no end to such accidents unless steps are taken to give primary responsibility to the engineers and officials in charge of the construction and impose penalties for failures. Adequate precautions are possible only if there is fear and respect for the law. The court also said that the engineer and the supervisory officer will have full legal responsibility if such incidents take place in future.

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