Mangaluru, Oct 23: The death of a youth in a road accident on Wednesday, Oct 22 sparked a protest in the city. Febin Paul (22), a nursing intern at SCS Hospital, was knocked down by a private bus when he was walking on the pavement on Mother Teresa Covent Road. According to eyewitnesses, the bus veered off the road and went on to the pavement. The victim died on the spot. The driver of the bus fled from the scene and is absconding.
Outraged by the incident, members of the public joined friends of the deceased in blocking Bendoorwell Circle for over half-an-hour to protest against the negligent and rash driving.
A case has been registered with the Mangalore East police Station against the owner of the bus and the vehicle has been seized.
This incident follows the May 10 incident where Savitha (22) and Vikas (21) were crushed to death by a bus at the State Bank of India terminus.
The protesters, who threatened to sit in until the driver was caught, withdrew their protest after receiving assurances from the police that measures would be taken to rein in private bus drivers.
Staff and students of SCS Hospital along with the Karnataka Educational and Charitable Trust, submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner M. Maheshwar Rao and Superintendent of Police N. Sateesh Kumar.
Their primary demand was that the Balmatta-Bendoorwell road be opened to traffic without further delay. They said that the road from Balmatta to Mother Teresa Convent Road was under extreme pressure from traffic that had been diverted from the Balmatta-Bendoorwell Road. They also demanded that police personnel be stationed at all important junctions in the city, particularly during peak hours, roads be repaired immediately and strict action be taken against errant and rash bus drivers.
Mr. Rao said that his office had directed the corporation authorities to speed up road repairs and also launch a drive to make all roads in the city pedestrian friendly.
He added that he had requested for immediate funds from the Government for setting up traffic signals at all major junctions in the city.
In his capacity as the Chairman of the Regional Transport Authority, Mr. Rao said that he had asked for reports from police stations about the cases booked against rash driving. "We are considering conducting a training and sensitisation programme for drivers of private buses," he said.