Maharashtra Pothole Deaths: Police Mulling Action Against MSRDC

Maharashtra Police are mulling action against the state government’s road development corporation for the deaths.

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After rising pothole-related deaths, police in Maharashtra are mulling action against the state government's road development corporation for causing "death due to negligence".

Police issued a notice to the executive engineer of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in suburban Bandra, after a pothole-related death in Thane district last week, an official told PTI.

The notice says action will be initiated under section 304A (causing death by rash and negligent act) of the Indian Penal Code in case of "serious accidents" due to potholes.

On 10 July, Hasim Shaikh (45) from Kalyan died in Kongaon, Bhiwandi, after a truck crashed into the auto he was in due to a pothole. Four others were injured.

Pothole-riddled roads have led to five accidental deaths in Thane since last month.

The notice, issued by the Thane police a day after the Bhiwandi accident, also warns the MSRDC official of action under section 188 (disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC.

"A law and order situation arose and public peace was disrupted as the death (in Bhiwandi) happened due to pothole. There is a great public unrest against you (MSRDC) among the villagers," the notice read.

The notice added that it was the MSRDC's responsibility to ensure repair of potholes on the Rajnoli Naka to Durgadi bridge road stretch, where the accident took place.

Even after the accident, it is seen that there are big potholes on both sides of the road. If there is (another) accident, you will be held responsible and legal action will be initiated against you as per law. 

"If the accidents recur despite this intimation, it will be construed as a breach of this notice issued under CrPC section 149 and action will be taken against you under section 188 IPC and for negligence, holding you responsible for the accidents," the notice said.

Rising deaths due to potholes has become a hot topic of discussion during this monsoon.


Earlier, on Saturday, 14 July, Maharashtra PWD minister Chandrakant Patil appeared to make light of accidental deaths due to potholes on roads.

"When you talk about a death in such an accident, you forget that five lakh other people have travelled on the same road. You cannot put the entire blame on the (condition of) roads alone,” he had said.

Patil on Monday, 16 July, had apologised in the Legislative Council for his remarks.

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Topics:  Maharashtra   Indian Penal Code   potholes 

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