Being responsible

Last week, a falling wall killed a municipal worker in Changzamtog, Thimphu. It was a freak accident.

The incident could have become big news had media not resorted to the basest and meanest of the roles it could play.

But a worker’s or dasho’s, human life is precious.

The thromde has launched an investigation to find out when and how the wall was built. What will happen, we will soon come to know. We know that such freak accidents can sometimes occur.  But a family has lost the sole bread earner.

The wall could have been built before the thromde introduced approval rules for such constructions. The matter will come to an end with some arrangements to the bereaved members of the family.  We know that all too well.

But this may be the right time for us to look at the hazards of living in an urban setting. The capital city will continue to develop. Construction activities in and around the city are numerous. Residents and pedestrians are increasingly exposed to risks related to construction.

Just yesterday, a couple visiting the Centenary Farmers’ Market in Thimphu narrowly escaped a falling willow tree. There were no caution signs on the road as old trees were being hacked. The city is undergoing a massive makeup for important occasions, and cuttings and trimmings are going on like there is no tomorrow.

A caution like “Men at Work’ or “Drive Slow” will certainly help prevent accidents.

Workers by the roadsides who keep our city roads clean are also at risk. Apart from the helmets that are used by some contractors, we have not actually seen much improvement in precautionary measures at work sites.

We have stringent labour and occupational safety rules. But who implements them and follows them?

There are people young and old walking along the city roads. Aging willows by the roadsides should be felled, but safety measures must be put in place.

Surely we can be a little more careful and responsible. So many casualties and deaths can be prevented.

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