The move comes about a month after Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Motors, was killed in a road accident when the Mercedes GLC he was traveling in rammed into a water pipeline near Palghar, Maharashtra.

HT Auto Desk

October 18, 2022, 1:07 p.m

The remains of a crashed Mercedes GLC at the scene of the crash that killed Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Motors, on Sunday. The investigation concluded that poor road design was one of the main causes of the accident. (ANI)

Poor road design leading to accidents has finally sounded the alarm for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). India’s main road and highways agency has announced that it will prosecute erring officials if accidents occur due to poor road maintenance in the future. The decision comes about a month after the death of Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Motors, who died near Palghar, Maharashtra, when his car crashed into a water pipe at high speed.

The NHAI issued a circular in which the agency said it has taken a serious view of “dereliction of duty” by officials involved in the process of issuing temporary certificate. NHAI will treat such violations in future as “disregard” for user safety and policy principles and provisions of the contract agreement. β€œIt has been observed that temporary work certificates are being issued which keep safety works like road markings, road signs, finishing of barriers which not only endanger the safety of users but also create a bad name for NHAI when accidents occur cases/fatalities,” the circular reads.

The circular also states that the officials must ensure that the road safety works are completed in all respects before issuing the temporary certificate. “The Regional Officer/Project Director/Independent Engineer will be held responsible for any fatal/serious accidents occurring as a result of substandard road works,” it said.

India leads the world in road accidents and deaths with 1.55 lakh deaths last year. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said that some of the accidents happened because of wrong reports about the project. However, the debate over the quality of the road gained momentum after the inquest into the death of Cyrus Mistry found that poor road design was one of the main reasons why his car crashed.

Date of first publication: October 18, 2022, 1:07 PM IST