Five days after a man allegedly drove off an unfinished flyover in east Delhi and plunged to his death, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has questioned the Delhi government and Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora why the elevated road was left “unattended and un-barricaded”.
In a notice issued to them on Wednesday, the NHRC said it has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on the accident. “The commission has further observed that it is immaterial whether there was any contributory negligence by the victim while driving. What is more serious is that the authorities recklessly left an under-construction portion of a busy Delhi road un-barricaded, which is unpardonable.”
The police said Jagandeep Singh, 42, died on May 26 after his car fell 30 feet to the ground from an under-construction stretch of the Barapullah elevated road. A resident of Krishna Nagar, Mr. Singh was going home from his office in Noida Sector 16 around 6.30 p.m., they added.
‘Barriers after accident’
The NHRC said, “Reportedly, there was no signage regarding the ongoing work at the site and some of the barriers had been moved.” Quoting news reports, it said, “It was only after the accident that the barriers were put up.”
Officials of the Public Works Department (PWD), headed by Minister Atishi, did not respond to requests for a comment. Seeking a detailed report within four weeks, the NHRC said, “The reports are expected to include the status of the FIR registered by the police, action taken against the responsible officers/officials and compensation, if any, granted to the next of kin of the deceased.”
“The Commission would also like to know about the steps taken or proposed to be taken by the authorities to ensure that such incidents do not recur anywhere in the future.” It also issued notices to the Chief Secretary and PWD Secretary.
‘No jersey barricades’
The police had earlier suspected that Mr. Singh “got confused with the route and went on the flyover”.
On Wednesday, a senior officer said the entrance to the elevated road was “not properly barricaded”. “The victim would not have taken the flyover if there were jersey barricades in place. There were also no danger signs to caution the travellers,” he added.
An employee of a private company for over 15 years, Mr. Singh is survived by his wife Sukhvinder Kaur, their 11-year-old daughter and his elderly mother.
A close relative, who is with the family at their house, said that Mr. Singh’s mother was “severely disturbed” by the incident and her health has deteriorated drastically.
“News items and people asking about the incident have impacted her,” the relative added.