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Old 26th February 2020, 16:00   #1
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Default Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

According to a media report, the Madras High Court has said that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will be held accountable and will be liable to pay compensation in case of road accidents caused due to bad roads or signage.

Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads-nhai-tn.jpg

The court also directed the NHAI to ensure that the roads are re-laid to the standards set by the Indian Roads Congress. The Division Bench was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation petition regarding the improper maintenance and bad condition of NH4.

It also suggested that the government should set up a single window agency comprising of various stakeholders to ensure that the NHAI can obtain all the required clearances from various stakeholders without any loss of time.

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Old 26th February 2020, 17:39   #2
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Default re: Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

I even filed an RTI on why this stretch (Maduravoyal to Walajah) was so terrible. It turns out that the previous contractor Essel was sacked after non performance (they had 3 years from 2013 on).

Since 2016 NHAI is so busy that they haven't found the time to appoint another contractor to fix this, most vital of highways.

A PIL has been filed and that is what is in the news now.

AFAIk till Oct 2019 they were even collecting toll charges for a non existent road.
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Old 26th February 2020, 19:21   #3
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Default re: Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

What about the roads inside cities?
They are equally bad in quality and prone to causing accidents.
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Old 26th February 2020, 19:33   #4
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Default re: Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

This isn't going to fix anything in a hurry, but judgments like these will kick start the much-needed narrative about holding civic authorities accountable for delivering below-par work on the taxpayer's dime.

Hopefully this picks up momentum and the authorities are forced to deploy competent people right from the design phase through to completion and we eventually get roads we pay for, not the ill-designed and worse-laid death-traps we currently have.
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Old 26th February 2020, 20:46   #5
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Default re: Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

A Welcome change for sure and rightly assigns the ownership of the design and maintenance on NHAI.

Quote:
According to a media report, the Madras High Court has said that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will be held accountable and will be liable to pay compensation in case of road accidents caused due to bad roads or signage.
Will there be an investigation on to find if the accident is caused due to bad road/design or negligence from the drivers/road users?
Who is going to look into that?
Will this not create a conflict with the insurance and NHAI in the end delaying the settlement?

Even if One vehicle passes the place of accident with out any issues, then, NHAI can always say the cause of accident as negligence from the driver.

Last edited by saisree : 26th February 2020 at 20:50.
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Old 26th February 2020, 21:31   #6
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Default re: Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by saisree View Post
....
Will there be an investigation on to find if the accident is caused due to bad road/design or negligence from the drivers/road users?
Who is going to look into that?
Will this not create a conflict with the insurance and NHAI in the end delaying the settlement?...
I'm inclined to think this will need (and eventually turn into) a transportation safety framework, instead of just reactive investigations to apportion blame and settlements.

We'll need good infrastructure design, engineering, implementation and probably an equivalent organization like the NTSB in the US and other equivalents around the world to investigate accidents holistically and make corrective recommendations.

It's expecting a lot, and not all of this will happen overnight or possibly even in my generation, but a good first step towards accountability needs to be applauded.
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Old 27th February 2020, 12:18   #7
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Default Re: Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

Wasnt this already covered in the recent Motor Vehicle Act Amendment ? The Act says the contractor can be held responsible for poor quality highways. Is the court not aware of it ? Why is it that the court has to deliver suo moto verdict which is already covered as part of an Act ?
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Old 27th February 2020, 13:31   #8
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Default Re: Madras HC: NHAI to be held accountable for accidents due to bad roads

I can imagine cops being bribed enough to register all accidents as causes of overspeeding, driver negligence etc which will nullify this verdict. This will help the contractors in most of the cases unless cctv footages( if available) are used.

Overall, I doubt this will make any changes necessary to improve our roads.
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