In India, potholes killed more people than terrorists in last 5 years

In India, potholes killed more people than terrorists in last 5 years
According to official data, 14,926 people were killed in road accidents due to potholes between 2013 and 2017 (Representational Image)

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed serious concern over the near 15,000 deaths caused due to pothole-related road accidents in the last five years, terming it “unacceptable”.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said a large number of deaths caused due to potholes across the country was “probably more than those killed on the border or by the terrorists”.

According to official data, 14,926 people were killed in road accidents due to potholes between 2013 and 2017.

Last year alone, more than 10 people died in pothole-related mishaps every day, taking the toll to 3,597. In comparison, 803 died in terrorist attacks, including Naxalite strikes, in the year 2017.

The bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta, said the number of pothole-related deaths in the last five years indicated that the authorities concerned were not maintaining the roads.

The bench sought a response from the Centre on a report filed by the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety, headed by former apex court judge K S Radhakrishnan, on the number of deaths due to potholes in India.

The bench has posted the matter for further hearing in January.

Back in July, the top court had expressed its concern over the deaths and observed that the number fatalities due to such accidents were more than those in terror attacks.

Terming the situation as frightening, the top court had asked the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety to look into the matter.

The bench had also said that people who have lost their lives as a result of accidents due to potholes should be entitled to compensation.

It was a matter of common knowledge that a large number of people have died in such accidents and the authorities, who were supposed to maintain the roads, were not doing their duty properly, the bench had said.

Referring to media reports, the top court had said, “So many people are dying in the country due to accidents caused by potholes on roads. Reports say that more people have died due to accidents caused by potholes than the deaths in terrorist attacks”.

The apex court had also said that the committee should give recommendations as the issue was a part of road safety. The matter had come up before the bench when it was hearing an issue related to road safety across the country.

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