Going the extra mile to make Agency roads safer

Ken Foundation pastes reflective stickers along accident-prone stretches in the Araku Valley

City-based Ken Foundation has pasted reflective stickers at accident-prone areas along the ghat roads of the Agency area in Visakhapatnam district in the hope of minimising road mishaps.

Volunteers of the NGO have covered a stretch of 40 km between Araku Valley and Anantagiri, pasting stickers at hairpin bends and dangerous turns.

Last month, four persons were killed and 20 persons injured when a private bus fell into a gorge at Anantagiri mandal in Visakhapatnam Agency. After the accident, the NGO has decided to come up with a temporary measure to minimise such accidents.

Founder of Ken Foundation, P. Santosh, said the Agency ghat roads witness several accidents every year. Many drivers come to the valley from other parts of the State, who may not have knowledge of the steep curves here, he said.

“The ghat road spans for more than 50 km. There are eight hairpin bends (steep curves) in the 40 km-long ghat road between Vizag city and Araku Valley. Negotiating these turns is a challenge at night due to lack of adequate lighting and the surrounding forest cover. There is no proper illumination on the road and no radium stickers on the retaining walls of the steep curves, so it becomes difficult for motorists and other road users in the Agency areas. Since many of them are tourists and are new to these parts, these ghat roads turn into death traps,” he said.

Mr. Santosh said that a group of five volunteer members coordinated with Mr. Krishna Prasad from Paderu to paste the reflective waterproof multicoloured (red/yellow/white) stickers on rocks, trees, and boundary walls at all dangerous curves to alert the drivers. It took two days for them to cover the 40-km stretch.

“We have also pasted stickers on the remains of vehicles that have met with accidents and have been left along the roadside,” he said.

The NGO members appealed to the government to place warning boards at every turn and to also construct concrete retaining walls at the steep turns.

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