The gory road accident which claimed the lives of four Spanish nationals and left nine others injured on August 5, 2017, at a hairpin bend near Punganur on August 5, 2017, was considered an ‘eye-opener’ for the Chittoor district administration, forcing it to take urgent steps to address the rising number of road accidents.
However, despite many corrective measures being initiated in subsequent years, the scenario continues to remain disturbing. In the last three years, the six National Highways and one State Highway passing through the district have witnessed 264 accidents, in which 135 people lost their lives and an equal number of people suffered injuries.
There are a total of 31 black spots along the highways, of which two are considered extremely dangerous. At the Cheelapalle Cross on the NH connecting Chittoor and Vellore, 21 casualties were reported in as many accidents. Due to the ongoing road construction and absence of illumination and signboards, the 1-km stretch on this busy road continues to remain a source of worry for the police.
The Moghili ghat section on the Chittoor-Bengaluru NH, 30 km from here, is known for being one of the most accident-prone stretches of road in the entire district. Between 2019 and 2021, it recorded 14 accidents, in which 22 people lost their lives and several people suffered injuries. A police officer said that in the case of such gory road accidents, several people are rendered incapacitated for life and some even fail to make it to police records.
Police said that steps such as arranging caution boards, solar blinking lights and rumble strips are being undertaken at two vulnerable stretches. It is being observed that while black spots are being identified quickly and corrective measures being suggested to the authorities concerned, the execution of the suggestions is being delayed.
Inspector (District Traffic Records Bureau-Chittoor) T. Narasimhulu told The Hindu that Chittoor district serves as a prime transit route for thousands of pilgrims from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu reaching Tirumala, Tirupati, Kanipakam and Srikalahasti every day.
“A majority of the casualties take place on this stretch, where motorists have little to zero knowledge about black spots. At present, we have deployed six mobile road safety vehicles for round-the-clock patrols at these black spots which are equipped with laser guns. Steps are initiated to remove the speed-breakers on the highways and the same would be replaced with mobile barricades,” he said.
An accident in May that led to the deaths of four members of a family on the outskirts of Madanapalle after their car plunged into a water body sent shockwaves through Annamayya district.
Crime Today News | Andhra Pradesh