Killer on the run on India's roads
The roads make for a deadly cocktail of reckless driving, fake licences and a faulty system, reports Neelesh Misra.Updated: Feb 12, 2007, 03:51 IST
India's killer roads make for a deadly cocktail of reckless driving, fake driving licences and a system that has gone awry. Now, it has claimed yet another victim.
Tanu Priya Kochhar, 15, was headed on her scooter to her evening tuitions on February 6. Minutes later, she lay dead on a Gurgaon road. A Maruti car with three youngsters had lost control and swerved towards her on an empty road, hitting Kochhar head on.
The driver — 19-year-old engineering student Kapil Nagpal – was arrested and bailed out. If convicted, he will serve a maximum of two years in prison.
Tanu Priya fell victim to one of India’s biggest killers that gets scant attention from authorities – road accidents – assisted by outdated laws and tardy police investigation.
According to the National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB) data for 2004, Delhi’s roads are the country’s biggest killers.
And, if numbers tell a story, consider these. India had 3.61 lakh road accidents in 2004, the last year for which a national count is available. More than 91,000 people were killed that year accounting for about 7 per cent of road-accident deaths worldwide. Also, barely 2 per cent of the errant drivers are convicted, according to available estimates from the police and Parliament debates.
Shikha Kochhar, 23, Tanu Priya’s elder sister says, “Everyone knows how the system functions, but nobody has faith in it any way. We are feeling such anger and helplessness, it is hard to describe it.”
Tanu’s family alleges she was run over by the car as the youngsters tried to tease her. The police, however, say they have not been given
this version by the family.