Traffic congestion in Shillong is getting worse by the day: Meghalaya HC

SHILLONG, JULY 24: The Meghalaya High Court on Monday said the traffic congestion in and around Shillong is getting worse by the day despite measures taken by the state government.

Hearing a PIL on the matter, the Division Bench said, “A report has been filed by the state government indicating some measures taken or proposed to be taken to ease the traffic congestion in and around Shillong. On the ground, however, it appears that the situation is getting worse by the day. Getting into Shillong from the Guwahati–Shillong highway is a near nightmare.”

“Further, at peak office -hours and during early morning and early afternoon school hours, traffic all across the city comes to a standstill. With increasing number of cars and no attempt to increase the road space and very little facilities for parking, the problem appears to have no immediate solution,” it added.

The petitioner Philip Khrawbok Shati has submitted that though the government has invested in buses with a lot of fanfare for school children to be ferried by them, the government has not taken steps to assure parents of the security of their wards.

As a consequence, according to the petitioner, there is luke warm response from parents and guardians in such regard. The petitioner suggests that government representatives should visit individual schools and request for meeting the parents to make them aware and assure them of the safety of their wards, if they travel to school and back in government buses.

An App had been prepared by the government as recorded in one of the previous orders, but the main issue appears to be as to the reliability of both the driver and helper or helpers in every bus and how the children are going to be protected by such persons.

Though the school issue is one of the several in the context of the traffic congestion in this city , at least, if half the number of parents who use cars to ferry their children to and from school resort to the public mode of service as introduced by the government, traffic would have been substantially eased.

The State said that even government employees are being requested to take special buses which will start and end at designated places, but there does not appear to be much response to such proposal.

According to the report filed by the State, the work on the Shillong western bypass is due to start in the month of August, 2023. The State says that the western bypass is proposed to be widened and better surfaced to ease traffic on the main arterial road.

However, this will take time as the matter has not got off the drawing board to the ground as yet.

 

“There were expert reports that the State government referred to and there was a study conducted along with IIM, Shillong. It is quite possible that several suggestions were made in course of such discussions which the State should explore to implement,” the Bench asserted.

It has also directed the State government to file a further report on the matter by August 23.


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