Local resident not disposing debris safely and engineer not monitoring the site led to death of Paro RBP Fire Engine Driver in a bike accident

A motor vehicle accident was reported at Nemjo, under Luni Gewog in Paro on the evening of 26th June, 2022. A police team rushed to the spot and found that the rider was a RBP official who is the driver of fire engine of Paro Police Station.

He was taken to the hospital but succumbed to head injuries and was declared brought dead by the doctor.

 The accident occurred when the RBP official was trying to dodge the bike from debris on the main road. He was riding his own bike while returning home from duty.

Even though was wearing a helmet, it broke due to the impact when he fell on the road head-first. The bike was found with major damage on the front parts including the handle bars.

It was found that a female resident from Nemjo, had sought approval from Paro, Department of Roads to lay sewage pipe lines in front of her house. The area was adjacent to the main road leading from Paro Town towards Drugyel.

The approval was given on 20th April, 2022 subject to certain conditions and Paro, DoR was to ensure that remedial precautions in the agreement are adhered to by the applicant during the time of implementation. The agreement was signed by the Principal Engineer, Junior engineer and the applicant.

As per the agreement the applicant should inform the department during the layout of pipe lines to ensure 1.5 meters from the black top edge and 0.6-meter depth from road surface. The applicant shall adopt Environment Friendly Construction technique, excavated earth was to be disposed at a safe designated place, applicant is to ensure safe flow of traffic on the existing road and is solely responsible in the event of any uneven circumstances arising due to the working period.

No materials are to be dumped within the road carriage width of the existing road for safety reasons and in case of any debris on the existing road, the same shall be cleared off at the end of the day.

 Cautionary signs shall be displayed at the required location during the trenching period for safety reasons and DoR reserves the right to revoke this clearance if the applicant fails to fulfill any of the preconditions stated above.

The female resident started the layout works on 26th June, 2022 at around 4.20 pm and informed the Junior Engineer of DoR, Sub-Division-III, Paro through a phone call. However, the Principal Engineer and Junior engineer did not visit the work site to ensure that the terms and conditions of the agreement are followed.

Likewise, the applicant failed to dispose the excavated earth at a safe designated place, nor did she clear off the debris left on the road at the end of the work day. The total width of the main road is 22.3 feet of which 8.2 feet was covered by dug out soil debris.  She also did not display any cautionary signs at the work site.

A joint investigation with the technical experts from Dzongkhag Engineering Section will be carried out to prove negligence which led to death of the rider.

The Junior Engineer and the applicant are detained for further investigation. The Principal Engineer was sent on surety. The case is registered under Criminal Nuisance which is Section 410 of the Penal Code and Negligent homicide which is Section 144.

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