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Consumer Court fines BBMP, Police for faulty road humps; Kin of accident victim to get compensation

The principal bench of the Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held the principal secretary, urban development; the BBMP commissioner, and commissioner of police, Bengaluru, guilty of negligence and ordered them to pay compensation of Rs 12.70 lakh to an elderly couple – GM Chavan and Sona Bai. Their son Suryaprakash G, then 22, was killed in a road accident on the night of February 23, 2008 due to faulty humps on Ring Road in BTM Layout.
His parents said that Suryaprakash was returning home from work on a bike. As he crossed the road humps, he lost balance and fell down, while his bike hit the road divider. The street was dark and had no lights too. Even there were no indicators. Moreover the humps had been laid without specifications. The couple argued that they were totally dependent on their son, who was employed with a private company and earned Rs 25,000 a month.
When the hearing in the case finally began in 2013, the three respondents blamed each other and rider Surya prakash for the tragedy. They said he should have exercised due diligence while riding his motorbike. But the bench headed by Justice B S Indrakala rubbished their claims.
The Chavans cited an RTI reply they had elicited from the Jayanagar police inspector, in which he had said the road humps were not built scientifically and were unauthorized. The inspector’s reply was endorsed by the executive engineer, BBMP, in another RTI reply, and the official had accepted that the humps were built unscientifically. The bench said Suryaprakash’s death was not merely loss of life, but also loss of love and affection.
It found the department concerned, specifically the BBMP, responsible for this and directed the civic body to adhere to the norms fixed by the IRC (Indian Road Congress). All the three respondents were asked to pay Rs 12.70 lakh, with 8% interest from the date of complaint as compensation, with costs of Rs 10,000. The parties were told to pay the amount within eight weeks from May 29, the date of the order.
Speed-breakers nay bone-breakers; danger zones
As reported by Akshaya Deva in jagrancityplus.com on 16 April 2008, is being republished here. How the faulty road humps caused the death of Suryaprakash has been mentioned.
Majority of speed breakers, more like humps on roads, across the City are a major cause of accidents because they are built in violation of the approved specifications, says Koramangala-based RTI activist Anil Kumar.
Anil Kumar does not blame the humps; instead, he criticises the failure of the authority to understand the practicality of motor driving.
Given the specification laid down by the Indian Road Congress, a road hump should not be taller than 0.125 meter (approximately 5 inches), and wider than 3 meters.
In Bangalore, hardly any humps fit into these specifications. Round about a year ago, Anil Kumar invoked his favourite RTI weapon to explore the guideline that Bangalore’s civic authority (BBMP) complies with while building road humps.
When he sought for such information, BBMP did not bother to answer. Anil sued the authority in the court of Information Commission.
He posed a few difficult questions such as how may road humps are unauthorised in the City, who shoulders the responsibility for carrying out such a grave mischief and what action the authority took against them. The court got him the information he was seeking for, but it did not go to the extent of ordering the BBMP to modify humps as described in the guidelines.
The Commission, however, made it clear that the Commissioner of BBMP will be held responsible for any injury or loss of life triggered by the hump.
“In February this year, a bike rider Suryaprakash met his death on BTM Ring Road, near Manjunatha Tiles Depot, as the hump he was crossing over complied with no specification whatsoever. First and foremost, there was no signboard to caution the motorists that there is a hump ahead in the track. Nor there was any streetlight enabling the motorist to make out the hump,” says Anil Kumar.
According to him, BBMP is likely to announce compensation for some victims as the authority has now been educated on its responsibility.
According to Chavan, father of the deceased, “The height of the speed breaker can’t be judged because it was not marked with paint nor are there blinkers. There was no signage even at the spot. Anyhow it is an unbearable loss to us”.
Speed-breakers are meant to prevent possible freak accidents. But here there are many which are responsible for road mishaps.

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