Pothole deaths: SC summons Delhi police chief

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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday said it was “frightening” that a large number of people were dying in road accidents caused by potholes and summoned Delhi’s Commissioner of Police for non-removal of encroachments and traffic bottlenecks despite several recommendations.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta observed that there are more deaths due to potholes than terrorist attacks in India.

The bench said the Police Commissioner should explain as to why the police has not implemented the February 2017 report of a special task force that had recommended clearance of traffic bottlenecks and encroachments.

“So many people are dying in the country due to accident caused by potholes. Reports say that more people have died in accidents caused by potholes than in terrorist attacks,” said the bench.

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The court asked a Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety to look into the issue and give its report in two weeks.

The bench, while hearing a matter relating to road safety across the country, said the two-year time given by the Delhi government for clearing bottlenecks was too long.

Advocate Wasim A. Qadri, appearing for Delhi government, told the bench that the time-line was drawn keeping in view construction of flyovers, underpasses and foot over-bridges.

“That means people of Delhi will have to face bottlenecks for another two-three years,” the court remarked.

“For the sake of people of Delhi, let the Commissioner of Police come (before the bench),” said the court even as the Delhi government advocate pleaded against it.

“The problem in Delhi is that nobody is responsible here. Now you are saying that the Commissioner of Police is also not responsible. Tell us whom you want us to call. For the sake of people of Delhi, we are calling the Commissioner of Police,” the bench said.

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The Delhi government has filed an affidavit and stated that it had worked out a detailed roadmap to remove 77 “severe, moderate and mild bottlenecks” in two years and that an action plan involved both short-term and long-term measures.

–IANS

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