The death of an ace woman Harley Davidson biker in an accident directed police focus to the absence of warning signs on the roads prone to accidents.
The stretch of NH-86 in Vidisha district’s Gyaraspur area, 100km from Bhopal, where Veenu Paliwal died on Monday has claimed several lives in the past.
“I’ll soon talk to the district administration to take up the matter of no signboards present on the spot to caution drivers about the accident zone and drive carefully,” said police superintendent YS Choudhary. “A letter will subsequently be written to the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) in the matter so that the much-needed signboard can be erected at the earliest.”
In addition to Semal Mor, the site of the Paliwal’s fatal crash, the matter of other blind turns in the area will also be taken up with the highway authority.
Head constable Babu Lal Malwi claimed that around 25 people lost their lives in road accidents at the blind turn in the last year and a half. A police inspector’s three relatives died on the same spot and a bus carrying tribals to a rally in Bhopal overturned killing a man and injuring 50 in separate incidents in February.
The family of an Indian Air Force pilot from Tamil Nadu too was critically injured at the same spot a few months ago, Malwi said. The spate of accidents has been blamed on the supernatural by villagers, who said victims often claimed to have seen a big bull, elephants and even a deep gorge that resulted in accidents.
The area has been ominously nicknamed Maut ka Kuwan (well of death) by the villagers.
The head constable said the absence of a sign to alert people of the blind turn and the accident-prone area was a major reason for the accidents.
Its most recent victim, Paliwal, was a cross-country ride with fellow biker Dipesh Tanwar when her bike skidded off the road. The duo had left Lucknow on Monday morning for Bhopal for the 19th halt on their 21-stop journey.
She was rushed to the Gyaraspur PHC and then to Vidisha district hospital, where doctors declared her as dead on arrival. Her autopsy report said she died due to internal bleeding due to a compressive injury, possibly caused by the handle bar of the bike that had brought her fame and recognition.