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Businessman dies in Delhi’s Civil Lines as scooter hits pothole

His family said the scooter the senior citizen was riding hit a pothole on the road next to Metcalfe House, after which he bled to death.

delhi Updated: Oct 28, 2017 00:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
HIndustan Times
delhi,delhi news,pothole death
His family said the scooter the senior citizen was riding hit a pothole on the road next to Metcalfe House, after which he bled to death.

A 61-year-old businessman was killed in a road accident on Ring Road near Civil Lines on Wednesday evening. His family said the scooter the senior citizen was riding hit a pothole on the road next to Metcalfe House, after which he bled to death.

Police registered a case of death by negligence and rash driving against unknown persons. “We are still trying to ascertain if the pothole led to the accident. There were no eyewitnesses but we found a pothole close to the accident spot,” said Jatin Narwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North).

Jagdish Sukhija, a resident of Rohini Sector 13, was returning home from the Lajpat Rai market around 6pm when he met with the accident. His son, Rahul, said Sukhija’s scooter hit a pothole, upon which he fell and hit his head on the road. “He suffered severe injuries and bled from his nose and ears, despite wearing a helmet,” said Rahul.

“Passersby rushed my father to Sushruta Trauma Centre in an auto-rickshaw where doctors declared him dead. It is they who told us that my father’s scooter hit a pothole on Ring Road,” said Rahul.

In their first information report, police mentioned the presence of a pothole. However, Ashwini Kumar, principal secretary of the Delhi government’s public works department (PWD), which is responsible for the upkeep of all arterial roads including Ring Road, denied that the death was caused by a pothole. “My engineers got in touch with the traffic police and told me that the accident was not caused by a pothole,” he said.

The PWD’s engineer-in-chief, Sarvagya Shrivastava, said there were no potholes on that stretch.

Broken roads and potholes are the biggest cause of road accidents in India. In 2016, as many 6,424 road accidents occurred across the country due to potholes, claiming 2,324 lives.

In August, a school teacher died after she was run over by a speeding water tanker in outer Delhi’s Kanjhawala village as the scooter she was riding lost control upon hitting a water-logged pothole. On July 30 last year, a 45-year-old biker was killed in the same fashion in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj.

Police are, however, still trying to reconstruct the circumstances of Wednesday’s accident. “We could not find any eyewitnesses who could tell us how the accident happened. There are no CCTVs close to the spot. We are trying to find out whether Sukhija’s scooter hit a pothole or was he hit by an unknown vehicle,” said Narwal.

Sukhija’s family members, however, denied that it was a case of hit-and-run and said the scooter did not have any dents. They blamed civic agencies and the Delhi government for the death.

“As a citizen of Delhi, I did my duties by paying taxes and voting for the right government. Our politicians promise smart cities but it is really unfortunate that people die in the national capital due to potholes on roads,” said Sukhija’s daughter-in-law Himanshi, who works in an MNC in Noida.

Sukhija ran an electronic goods shop in the Lajpat Rai market in Chandni Chowk. He had recently sold his shop to fund the medical treatment of his elder brother, Harish Sukhija, who has been in a state of coma after a road accident three years ago.

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 00:20 IST