Lost My Brother to A Pothole; Who Is to Blame For Unsafe Roads?
Lest the government does something, people like Kalpesh will be reduced to a statistic.
“We saw that the police had lifted my brother’s body and had kept it at a service centre. They told us that he still had some life left in him and that if we have a car, we should take him to hospital. We lifted him inside the car and took him to Ayush hospital in Kalyan. They checked his ECG and told us that he was dead.”
The 13 of July, 2018, is etched in our memories. My brother, Kalpesh Jadhav, lost his life to Mumbai's killer potholes. He was 26-years-old, and was heading home on his bike around 2:30 am.
The bike hit a pothole. As he lost control and fell, a truck ran over him. The police had given us some hope after the accident. We rushed Kalpesh to the hospital.
Unfortunately, there was no improvement in his condition. We couldn’t tell whether he was still alive, but we were hopeful because the police told us that he’s not dead. The ECG a short while later confirmed the worst.
Kalpesh had gotten married eight months before the accident. It was a love marriage. They were in a relationship for 8-9 years. He was such a lively person. He always helped everyone. Our world has come to a standstill ever since he left us. All we have are the photos and the memories.
“We have not gone anywhere since the accident. We just stay here at home. I go to the nearby doctor or to get things for the house, that’s it.”Kunda Chandramani Jadhav, Kalpesh’s Mother
Is Kalpesh Just a Statistic?
In Kalyan alone, at least 5 people died in pothole-related deaths in 2018. My brother is one of them. Government officials and ordinary citizens both need to cross the same road, but the former don’t care about roads that don’t fetch them tolls.
The roads are fine as long as people are paying tolls and as soon as that stops, the roads are not cared for anymore.
Roads should be durable. They become covered in potholes after a single spell of heavy rain. Who do we complain to, the government or the contractors?
Mumbai needs safer roads. India needs safer roads. The government must step up and the law must find space for speedy trials for victims of road accidents. Else, the victims who have lost their lives will be reduced to numbers.
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