At least twelve persons were killed and 35 injured after a bus fell into the Mahanadi riverbed from a bridge near Jagatpur on the outskirts of the Cuttack city Tuesday evening, According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the bus lost control when a buffalo came in front of it. The driver swerved the bus to save the animal and thus the accident happened.
These people were the latest victim of stray cattle accidents in Indian roads. Stray cattle are becoming nightmare for the drivers & commuters, As per the data around 300 people across the state of Odisha have been killed in road accidents caused by stray cattle on roads in last two years.
As per the data of Insurance Association Of India(IAI) stray cattle are the 2nd biggest reason for road accidents, drunken driving remains the top reason. After supreme court ruling to keep wine shops away from Highways the cases of drunken driving has come down but the cases of stray cattle are going up alarmingly.
“Since slaughterhouses have been closed and cattle smuggling too has come down, there is a significant increase in the number of stray cattle on the roads. We know that a lot of accidents are taking place on the roads because of this. Many of these cattle sleep on the road, and drivers and motorcyclists end up hitting them inadvertently” Said one senior police officer. These stray cattle should be tied radium bands around the neck and horns to alert night-time drivers the officer suggests.
Notable environmentalist of Odisha Biswajit Mohanty has wondered that how a buffalo landed up in the middle of the Mahanadi bridge which is around 1 km from the river edge. He demanded to the state government to remove all stray cattle from roads which is an immense threat to the vehicular movement.