Human rights panel moved over pothole peril


Man, who hurt his spine while navigating a pothole, invokes Right to Life guarantee

The Telangana State Human Rights Commission (TSHRC) has issued a notice over a pothole after a citizen invoked the Right to Life guarantee under Article 21 of Indian Constitution.

“The potholes are all over the city and causing health issues to most of the citizens’ lives since the GHMC is not paying attention. This is violating my right to life which includes right to a clean environment under Article 21 of Indian Constitution,” was the plea made by Vinay Vangala after he hurt his spine while navigating a pothole near Chandanagar.

The TSHRC has asked the Chandanagar police to find the ownership of the road stretch that had the pothole due to which Mr. Vangala was injured. “…Whether they have collected any information/material to the effect whether the road on which the alleged pothole is there belongs to GHMC or State Highways and what’s the action taken so far,” says the SHRC notice to Chandanagar Police.

It was around 8.30 a.m. on December 3 when Mr Vangala hurt his spine due to the pothole and had to go to hospital for treatment.

“My spine got hurt due to the pothole on Gangaram main highway, Chandanagar. I had complained to Cyberabad Police to take action against the authorities concerned for negligence of duty. Since they didn’t take action, I approached HRC. Lot of people are affected directly and indirectly, physically and mentally,” says Mr. Vangala about his motivation for petitioning the TSHRC.

In February, two young men lost their lives when they tried to dodge a pothole and were run over by a heavy-duty vehicle near the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station.

Nationally, 2,140 persons were killed due to potholes in 2019, according to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) data.

Potholes account for nearly 2% road accidents, 2.1% road accident deaths and 1.6% of injuries.

Road features more prone to road accidents include potholes and ongoing construction work. In the million-plus cities, ongoing road works/road under construction account for 3.5% of road accidents, 3.1 percent of deaths and 3.8% injuries, suggests a MORTH document.

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