A total of 117 precious lives were lost in road mishaps in 2013 in Mandi district, of which 41 lives were lost in a single private bus mishap in Jhiri.
Figures up to November 30 show that 338 accidents took place in the district, in which 623 people were injured, while Chandigarh-Manali national highway-21 was the most vulnerable for the vehicular accidents.
Notably Chandigarh-Manali NH-21 lacks proper maintenance, safety measures, proper indications and the number of hotels, dhabas and food joints along the road has gone up considerably, which create hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic.
The NH-21, from Sundernagar to Salapar area, remains busy round the clock, mainly because of the presence of trucks deployed by cement company. Trucks can be seen parked along the road, due to which head-on collisions occur.
Locals have been urging the local administration and state government to construct a separate road for the cement plant trucks and heavy vehicles, but to no avail.
“Actually NH-21 leads to tourist destination at Kullu and Manali, but due to presence of heavy flow of trucks either of cement plant companies or the private truck carrying cement interrupt traffic flow and sometime result in fatal accidents. We have raised the matter a number of times with various authorities and state government,” said Joginder Walia, a social activist of Balh segment.
Notably, the police have been doing their bit by challaning traffic violators - more than 40,000 vehicles were challaned for various violations in the year - but they couldn't deal with the problem of bad roads.