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Death stalks National Highway-9

By Our Staff Reporter

SANGAREDDY, DEC. 25. Increase in traffic and delay in converting the 92 km-long section of the National Highway 9 from Hyderabad to Sangareddy into a four-lane one has claimed the lives of 147 persons in 2004.

Casualties on the two other major roads, NH 7 from Kallakal village to Baswapur in Nizamabad district and the Rajeev Rahadari connecting Vantimamidi village to Shanigaram in Karimnagar district recorded 56 and 66 deaths, respectively, during the same period.

The three major National and State highways crisscrossing Medak district have seen 1,370 accidents, injuries to 2,525 people and 506 deaths.

Decline in accidents

While the available data indicates slight decline in the rate of accidents and deaths, compared with that in 2003, severity of accidents on the Rajeev Rahadari is on the rise.

With only 137 accidents this year, the number of injured rose to 321 compared to that of 296 in 2003.

The narrow NH 9 that links South Indian pilgrims to the holy place of Shirdi in Maharashtra and Mumbai has no trauma centres. This cuts down the lifeline of the injured as police have to bring them to the Government hospital in Sangareddy or Hyderabad.

With no towing service available on the highways, truck drivers park their vehicles on the highway itself in case of breakdown. In November, 14 people lost their lives in accidents involving parked trucks.

Police need equipment

The Medak police, who have only one highway patrol vehicle at their disposal, have asked for three more vans and two cranes so that stranded vehicles could be moved to a safer place. Aspects of safe driving have been taught to drivers and traffic police have been trained in first aid so that precious lives could be saved.

While a permanent solution is to construct road dividers on the busy lanes, highway police say that periodic checking of drunken driving through breath analyzers would help reduce the number of accidents.

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Sivananda Ashram


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