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Accidents on roads on river banks
The tragic death of the innocent people in Kottayam, Allepy and the recent death of innocent school children in Trivandrum was unfortunate. Mishaps are on the increase as media projection they receive is short lived. The social role of media does not end unless it can influence the ‘mind set’ of the community through its regular follow-up.
Strict rules on issuing driving license, strengthening or widening roads, erecting a retention wall are good suggestions; but none seems to be touching the realities on the ground. As per an old publication of WWF Kerala state office “Natural resources of Kerala” the per capita land holding of Kerala is 0.13 hectre and cropable land is 0.10H. Cropping percent is 125%. We talk of being self sufficient in food and milk, though we still depend on other states for most of our food needs. When we acquire agricultural land we say we are helping the poor to get employment. But we are driving people out of their land, dwelling or earning opportunities.
It is not the first time that we discuss accidents on the roads running through banks of rivers, canals and rivulets. Most of the scientific and environment friendly waterway management of the past of Travancore kingdom is now either destroyed or mutilated. Kerala is the first state to implement decentralization as per the 73rd amendment constitution and engage a three tier system of Panchayati raj. If the community has not maintained our old waterways which were cheaper means of transport for the entire Travancore, can we blame any one else? I must humbly suggest,-
1. Let the NREG and other employment generation projects be used as a mass effort to clean the canals, river banks and dedicate them to state. Let JCB owners, tipper owners and road contractors support volunteers by sparing one day each for the purpose. To emotionally involve people the process can be repeated each year preferably on the week any tragedy occurred.
2. Instead of building retention walls on the soft narrow roads which at times are at water level, let there be ‘T’ or ‘Y’ shaped pillars erected and a good flyover constructed over the rivulets. This would save acquiring land to widen roads.
3. Let the rivulets be converted into boating route, tourist spots or recreational water ways. We may give different landmarks the name of those who lost their lives.
All this will not only rid the community of menace weeds, mosquitoes and associated health hazards, but would also generate income through tourism for the local body
Posted By : Prof(Dr) Ramakumar V, On Feb 19, 2011 09:38:30 PM