Kishtwar roads have devoured 37 lives in a month

Bisma Bhat

Srinagar, Sep 14:At least 37 people have died and over 30 injured in road accidents in less a month in Kishtwar district alone.

On Friday morning, a major accident occurred in which 17 people were killed and 16 others injured when a mini bus skidded off the road and fell into Chenab River on Kishtwar road.

District Development Commissioner (Kishtwar) Angrez Singh Rana saidthat the cause of the accident was bad condition of road due to which bus lost its control and fell into the river.

Fridays was the third major accident in Kishtwar district since August 21, when 13 devotees to Machail yatra were killed when their cab plunged into a gorge. A day earlier, seven persons had lost their lives and 12 others injured, when two vehicles were hit by boulders in the same district.

The Chenab Valley in Jammu region, with its tough terrain, has witnessed a steep increase in the accidents over the past few years.

According to the official figures of the Traffic Department, around 11,000 road accidents have been reported annually for the last two years in the state.

The actual number, according to police officials, could be much higher as many incidents go unreported.

In 2015, 917 people lost their lives in 5,800 road accidents and in 2016, 958 lives were claimed and over 7,700 suffered injuries in road accidents in the state. This means that three people die on an average daily in the state.

“The number of road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir, which claim around one thousand lives per year, is double than the national average, based on population of the state,” an SP-rank traffic police officer, said.

“Over 60 per cent of the total natural deaths in the state have been caused by road accidents, while the national average is around 30 per cent,” he added.

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