An Indian man was forced to turn his bicycle into a two-wheeled hearse to carry the corpse of his dead brother because of the appalling state of the roads in his area.

 

The example of the man was cited by a government official in the famed tea growing area of Assam as a reason for roads to be improved in the district.

 

According to reports, an 18-year-old called Dimple Das, from the village of Balijan in Assam's Lakhimpur district, in eastern India, started out on the bicycle alive but seriously ill. His brother wanted to take him to the local hospital.

 

The road linking his village of Balijan to the hospital in Garamur is impassable for motorised vehicles and includes a bamboo bridge which can only be cycled across or walked over.

 

En route Dimple Das' condition steadily worsened and he died from respiratory problems and was pronounced dead at the hospital by a doctor.

 

"They had brought the patient on a bicycle. Following his death due to respiratory problems, they left with his body tied to a bicycle. This happened despite the hospital having a hearse van," said Majuli Deputy Commissioner P G Jha.

 

A video emerged of the corpse on the bike, prompting local officials to treat the case far more seriously than they might have done if the incident had gone unrecorded.

 

Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has ordered an inquiry and directed Health Ministry officials to conduct an investigation on the ground.

 

India has a vast road network but much of it is in a poor state of repair and remote rural villages are still connected to the outside world by mud tracks.

 

Potholed roads are a common sight in India especially during and after monsoons.

 

Every year tens of millions of pounds are spent by the road agencies in extensive pothole patch repairs.

 

But in rural areas roads remain neglected for years. This ritual is repeated year after year despite the fact that due to potholes many people are involved in accidents causing serious injuries - and in many cases fatalities.

 

Businesses complain of losing vast fortunes in time and fuel because of the snail's pace at which freight moves on the shattered road network.

GabrielZamfir's picture

Author: Gabriel Zamfir

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