Thiruvananthapuram: For the second time in a week, the Pazhavangadi- East Fort stretch has turned death trap for another hapless soul. This time, an 80-year-old woman was killed after being hit by a KSRTC bus on Thursday morning. The woman was identified as Sharadha of B House, Bheemankari, Nedungad near Karamana.
According to traffic police, the mishap happened when the bus which was pulling over close to the platform of the bus stop suddenly took reverse. The woman who used to work as a maid had arrived here at 6 am to catch a bus to go to her workplace.She fell down after being hit on the torso and head by the metal body of the bus but was pulled to safety by onlookers before being run over.
A 108 ambulance which was deployed close to the spot immediately attended to the woman. Though she was admitted to Medical College Hospital she succumbed to injuries half an hour later. She leaves behind husband Sreedharan Nair and sons Mohanan and Rajan.
“We have arrested the KSRTC driver Vijay Kumar for negligent driving. Victim did not survive because age also was not on her side," a traffic police official said.The recurring accidents at East Fort- Pazhavangadi stretch have raised hackles of the public as earlier this week a 60-year-old man was killed after a VSSC bus ran over his legs.
Beauty at cost of safety at East Fort
A slew of new infrastructural upgradations undertaken at East Fort has not served to improve pedestrian safety in the city's major transit hub though it was slightly beautified recently.
The bus bay at Pazhavangadi has turned more dangerous for travellers after maintenance as a second layer of discontinuous platform has been built in front of the existing one. Now, passengers virtually have to deal with buses plying from front and behind.
With around 50 bus stops located on the stretch between Pazhavangadi and Nana petrol pump, runovers are bound to happen, say officials.
“Jaywalking is rampant on the stretch as there are barriers to prevent people from entering road from everywhere,” said Santha Kumar who had been part of litigations to make East Fort safer.
“Shoppers from Chalai and elderly people often hurry to board buses. When their attention is not on the surroundings such mishaps happen. After last week's runover we started giving pamphlets to make pedestrians responsible but nothing is working,” said a senior police officer.
City police and KSRTC have started using public announcement appealing for care while moving around at East Fort. An NGO named 'Aware' had recently submitted suggestion to build elevated walkways and intersection for passengers. However the government is yet to make a decision as the foot overbridges in the centre of busy cities are often underutilised in India.
As per Motor Vehicles Department officials the average speed of vehicles at East Fort area in day time is just around 10-15 kmph....