Mandi (Poonch): The dilapidated condition of roads, worn-out passenger vehicles, and administrative apathy towards violation of rules have claimed 22 lives in 46 accidents in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district in the past two years.
The locals lament that the administration has failed to put in place any preventive strategy to check the loss of lives in road accidents in this treacherous area of the border district.
“Administrative inertia is responsible for it as the concerned officials have failed to identify the causes and address them all these years. Just in the recent past - the year 2021 and 2022 till September, 22 people died in 46 road accidents,” they said.
Official sources said that the entire Mandi tehsil area in the district was hilly and tough in terms of topography with roads prone to landslides and surrounded by deep gorges and river bodies.
In the year 2021, 32 accidents were reported in Mandi tehsil comprising areas falling under the jurisdiction of Mandi and Loran Police Stations while 14 accidents were reported in 2022 so far in which 22 civilians lost their lives and 50 were injured.
In the distant past, some of the major accidents witnessed in the area included a bus tragedy in Loran in 2014 in which three dozen people died followed by an accident at Palera Loran in July 2019 in which eight persons died. Five persons lost their lives in June this year after a cab met with an accident at the same place where the tragedy struck on Thursday.
“The dilapidated road conditions coupled with the poor condition of passenger vehicles are the main causes of road accidents in Mandi tehsil areas of Poonch district but there is no preventive policy with the administration to avert such accidents,” locals said.