A young motorist in Kochi lost his life after hitting a pothole and losing his balance on the road, after which he was run over by a lorry. 23-year-old Yadhulal from Koonammavu in Kochi died on Thursday after falling near Palarivattom Metro station.
The pothole was formed apparently during the pipeline repair works carried out by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA). According to the local residents, the pothole had not been filled for the past eight months.
The pothole, which is on one side of the busy Palarivattom-Edapally road, was partially covered up by a metal sheet. The youth, who worked as a delivery partner of an online food aggregator, slipped into the pothole and was hit by a lorry which was just behind him.
It was only in October that another motorist lost his life after falling into a pothole on Sahodaran Ayyappan Road and being hit by a vehicle in a similar fashion.
Despite the Kerala High Court's stringent warning to make Kochi’s roads motorable, lack of coordination between the departments in filling the potholes still continues to take a toll on the lives of motorists.
Following the incident, District Collector S Suhas ordered for a magisterial probe into the incident. The Collector has sought a report from the Public Works Department and KWA. The district chief has also given directions to repair the road on a war footing. Additional District Magistrate K Chandrashekaran Nair has been asked to conduct the inquiry and submit a report.
Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the lack of coordination between departments in carrying out the works without fail. “There is no clear protocol for these things here. If a hole is dug in a road for something, it will lie just like that. There should be mechanisms to ensure safety when such works are done. The government will take effective action in this regard and will give necessary directions,” Pinarayi said.
Water Resources Minister K Krishnankutty has also sought a report from officials on the issue.
Meanwhile, the deceased youth’s friends and nearby residents in the area held a protest gathering at the accident site demanding action against the officials responsible for the lapse which lead to Yadhulal’s death.