Banner death: HC comes down heavily on govt officials

Chennai: A day after a young woman died after a banner erected on a median fell on her, the Madras High Court has come down heavily on government officials for failing to implement court orders.

Taking action on those responsible for the incident, city police has registered cases against former AIADMK Councillor Jayagopal and a printing unit in Kovialambakkam.

Yesterday, at 3 pm, Subhasri Ravi, an M Tech graduate who was working in an IT company in Perungudi was riding on 200-feet Radial stretch along the Thoraipakkam-Pallavaram in Pallikaranai, when a hoarding erected on the road’s divider fell on her. Subhasri lost her balance, and as the bike veered off, she fell on the middle of the road. The driver of a water tanker lorry that had been coming from behind tried to apply brake, but it rammed into her. Though she was rushed a hospital, she died within an hour.

Subhashri was reportedly returning home from her office. She had also written an exam to pursue her higher studies in Canada. This morning, the Madras High Court said it was tired of passing multiple orders against illegal flex boards. It also came down heavily on the lethargy of government officials for failing to implement the orders.

Even as initial reports claimed that Subhasri was not wearing a helmet, St Thomas Mount police clarified that she was wearing one. Sources said that Subhasri suffered grievous injuries to her arms, shoulders and ribs on the impact of the accident which could have caused internal injuries.

Police personnel of St Thomas Mount Traffic Investigation Wing sent her body for postmortem to Chrompet Government Hospital.

The hoardings had been erected on either sides of the road and on the divider by former AIADMK Councillor and Kancheepuram East MGR Mandram Assistant Secretary S Jayagopal to announce his son’s wedding. A high-profile wedding that saw even Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam attending it. Police have registered a case against Jayagopal.

Corporation officials sealed the printing unit in Kovilambakkam which printed and put up the banners. A case has been filed against Manoj, the driver who hails from Bihar. Following this incident social media users come out condemning the incident and even challenging politicians to stop erecting banners on the road. A candle lighting in memory of Subhasri is being organised today evening at West Tambaram. Reports say that officials have started a crackdown on illegal banners across the city.

Minister K Pandiarajan said AIADMK will take action against banners as a party as well as the government. DMK president M K Stalin and AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran have asked their party cadres not to erect banners for any party related functions. In a release, Stalin said he will not take part in any function in which banners are kept.

NT Bureau