Two d’eaths in amonth: one more man di’es in ac’cident on Bengaluru Sarjapur road

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Another ac’cident along Sarjapur Road has led to the d’eath of a 50-year-old Bengaluru resident on Saturday morning. Muniyappa, an employee at Axis Bank, was crossing the road near the Iblur Bus Stop at 10 am when he was hit by a concrete mixer.

According to Suresh, the traffic police officer on the spot, the man di’ed instantly after the concrete mixer hit him from behind. “The man’s younger brother is a firefighter and the family had gathered around the spot. Within minutes hundreds of people began gathering near the accident spot and demanding justice,” officer Suresh told TNM.

Traffic along Sarjapur Road has been blocked, which has resulted in a massive bottleneck along the Outer Ring Road as well. Commuters have been stranded along these two stretches for over two hours.

“Traffic has come to a standstill. There has not been any movement since the accident occurred. It all happened so quickly. When I got called in after the ac’cident, we were supposed to shift the man’s body to the hospital and clear the traffic. Suddenly commuters gathered around the ac’cident spot and when they found out it was an ac’cident, they became angry. Everyone started shouting and yelling about how the road is unsafe for pedestrians and they began demanding better roads and better traffic management,” officer Suresh said.

When the protests turned chaotic around 11.20 am, traffic police resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the crowd. “They are still protesting here. We tried lathi charge. Some people went away but the protests are still on,” he added.

This is not the first time a pedestrian has d’ied along this stretch. A month ago, a 75-year-old man d’ied in a hit-and-run accident along the same stretch. “Yesterday (Friday) was the one month anniversary of his d’eath. He was hit by a BMTC bus last month. He di’ed on the spot,” says Diana, a resident of Iblur. Gangadhar Nair, who was on his way to Columbia Asia hospital, lost his life after being hit by the BMTC bus. Prior to that, 20-year-old Sunil Vishwakarma had been run over by another BMTC bus while he was waiting on the road, as the footpath had encroached.

Residents say that there is a severe de’ath of pedestrian infrastructures such as footpaths, zebra crossings and skywalks on the busy road. “There is barely any traffic police deployed here despite the fact that it is a dangerous spot,” Diana adds. Footpaths are encroached by parked vehicles, street vendors and construction debris. Vehicles violate traffic norms and on several occasions are seen driving on the wrong side of the road at high speeds, without care or concern for the safety of pedestrians. Drains are left uncovered for the unsuspecting pedestrian or even vehicle to fall into.

Residents say that crossing over from Iblur Lake towards Columbia Asia Hospital near at the Sarjapur Road junction is a de’ath trap. The stretch is extremely risky as there are no pedestrian crossings. It becomes additionally difficult for the elderly and persons with disabilities to cross the road, Diana says.

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