Monday, March 7, 2016

Agra Expressway Accident--Smriti Did Her Best

On 5th-6th March intervening midnight, The Union Minister for HRD, Smriti Zubin Irani was somehow involved in a crash on Agra Expressway in which a Doctor died. As per her own narrative on twitter, the minister immediately tried getting help, called up for an ambulance, hoped the doctor who was lying on the road would get well soon and soon left and added that she is safe. The doctor who was injured and was lying on the road unfortunately could not survive. 

All her tweets are from 12.20 midnight to 12.24 denoting that she must have been there anywhere between 5-20 minutes. She must have settled down from her own trauma, then inquired on the accident, calling for help and then finally leaving. 

Medical help must have arrived a few minutes later but the main purpose was lost by then. Any accident is bad and a lost life is an irreparable loss to the family. Doctor's daughter has a different story to tell altogether. According to Sandili Nagar, the injured 16 year old daughter the event flow was a bit different and claims that Smriti Irani's convoy was directly involved in the accident and the minister did not even help. 

Accusations apart the accident is a reminder of an ironical situation that prevails on 165 km long Taj Expressway. It is a 6 lane concrete highway designed for speeds. It has all the facilities that a stretch like this should have. High speed is regulated to 100 kmph for cars rest have to travel at 60 kmph. However the road is often used to test speed limits of cars/motorcycles of various sizes and horse-powers. A friend long back boasted of 250 to me. 

Aghast I was as slow moving 2 wheelers are often spotted darting at their own pace. whether or not Smriti Zubin Irani was callous in her approach the blame squarely goes onto the authorities who allow scooters and motor cycles on that road. It is indeed too dangerous for them and time and again they have been the sitting ducks. 

Similar to the expressway there is a road between Mumbai & Pune which completely bans any kind of 2 wheels on the road. good for them atleast few less casualties. Do whatever, face local unrest if need be and convince the toll operator that price of a life far outweighs the toll collected from them. 

This would be the first step in reducing accidents on such a prestigious stretch.