Potholes killed over 11,000 people in last 4 years. UP fared worst with 3,428 deaths. Maharashtra (1,410), MP (1,244), West Bengal (783) were next in ranking.
Pothole-ridden roads have claimed 11,386 lives across the country over the past four years, which translates into roughly seven deaths a day.
The data compiled by the ministry of road transport and highways shows Uttar Pradesh recorded the maximum pothole deaths (3,428), followed by Maharashtra (1,410), Madhya Pradesh (1,244), West Bengal (783), Bihar (659), Gujarat (597), Andhra Pradesh (497), Tamil Nadu (481), Rajasthan (440) and Punjab (367). The actual figures could be grimmer, since many cases go unreported, sources said. The number of potholerelated fatalities in India increased from 2,607 in 2013 to 3,039 in 2014 and 3,416 in 2015. The figure dipped to 2,324 in 2016.
A senior official in the ministry of road transport and highways said: “Some states recorded more deaths due to various reasons such as road length, vehicular population and rate of rainfall. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka and West Bengal account for about 43% of the total road length of the country.
Many states don’t classify causes of accidents in a scientific way, hence several cases are not reported, he added. V S Suresh, an advocate from the Madras high court who handles motor vehicle accident cases, said government agencies are liable to pay compensation to the victims in cases of accidents caused by potholes.
“Craters are mainly formed due to the inferior quality of construction material and poor maintenance but police rarely record such cases as pothole-related accidents,” he said.
Advait Jani, who works with the Institute for Transport Development and Policy (ITDP), a non-profit, says poor quality of work and wa terlogging reduces the lifespan of roads.