October 14, 2016
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Tamil Nadu Government over the death of three college girls in a road accident involving a water tanker yesterday at Guindy in Chennai.
The Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of reports that the girls died and four others got injured in the mishap that occurred in front of their college.
Reportedly, this was not the only accident involving a water tanker, as the provisions of cancelling driving licenses, in such cases under the Motor Vehicle Act, were not being strictly imposed by the authorities in the State.
The Commission observed that the contents of the news reports are indicative of callous and sheer insensitive attitude of the Transport Department, police as well as Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
Accordingly, it has issued notice to the Government of Tamil Nadu through its Chief Secretary and DGP calling for detailed reports on this matter within four weeks.
They have also been asked to inform about the norms relating to fitness of the water tanker lorries, number of trips allowed, number of persons who have died in such accidents in the last five years and action taken against the erring drivers and the other officials of the department concerned.
The Commission would also like to know about the measures taken to prevent the recurrence in future.
The NHRC also observed that it is the failure of the State Transport Authority to implement and enforce rules and regulations, as also the apathy of police officials and other administrative officers that result in exposing the innocent citizens to all kinds of risks on road.
The non-checking of actual persons at the wheels results in driving by incompetent minors as well as vehicles going out of control by drunken driving. The safety of citizens should be the primary concern of the government. The State Government cannot escape its obligation to protect the lives of its citizens from such preventable gruesome mishaps, the notice said.