Rajahmundry: Even after the death of 22 persons in a gory accident on Sir Arthur Cotton barrage recently, the East Godavari administration failed to initiate any security measures so far to avoid recurrence of such mishaps.
Nearly 3.5 km stretch of four arms of the barrage is being poorly maintained by the irrigation department since a long time. People face hardships as the road on the barrage is full of potholes, broken railings and slabs of footpath at several places. Despite having lamp posts on the barrage, no lamps are fixed to them and those having lamps are not functioning.
Unless both the riders and drivers keep themselves alert until they cross the bridge, danger lurks all along the barrage and also on either side of the road on the islands. As the four arms of the barrage are connected through islands, deep gorges exist on either side of the road and though some barricades are erected, they can hardly sustain impact of vehicles driven at high speed. The police are critical of irrigation authorities for failing to take steps to ensure security to the people while travelling on the barrage.
A temporary barricade set up at the place of mishap where the ill-fated vehicle rammed into the railing and fell down 50 ft below, still remains a mute spectator even today. The police say that as the road on the barrage takes a steep left turn, any vehicle coming from Vijjeswaram towards Dowleswaram, should follow the left curve. If the driver fails to notice it, it goes straight deep down and falls into the river.
The police suggest elevating the level of footpath, display caution boards with radium stickers on the barrage alerting the drivers or riders about the speed limit, accident prone area, speed breakers and steep left turn. They also suggest proper lighting especially at the curve of the road to alert the driver to read the caution board and proceed accordingly.
Godavari river conservator P.V. Tirupati Rao said, “We are chalking out plans to secure the area since it is a view point of the river from the barrage. We intend to erect vertical metal poles and install a crash barrier and strengthen the railings further to sustain any impact in case of any mishap”...
Location: Andhra Pradesh