Traffic jams paralyzing the day to day activities is a common factor now, National Highways 40 and 44, Guwahati – Jowai, via Shillong is being tagged as the slowest highways, which might takes eight to twenty hours to travel about 170 kms. Due to such traffic snarl for years, the general public has now given up hope for any improvement.
The vendors for food and tea might be making a quick buck along the stretch, but due to uncertainty of jam, the drivers, handymen, even the passengers are forced to meet their respective nature call in the open, polluting the entire Highways 40 and 44. If such unhygienic practices continue for long, outbreak of plague and other venerable diseases cannot be avoided.
The traffic congestion inside the city has always been attributed to the increasing number of trucks plying during school or office hours. But the drivers and commuters in the city have never made any effort to improve the condition either, beginning from their arrogant attitude, lack of traffic culture, worst so lack of social responsibilities. All one understands is self convenience!
The conviction of the Traffic Branch and Department of Transports are being question by none other than the Senior Bureaucrats. The reported narrow lane and by lane in the city caused the traffic congestion is an old reason now. The official who reported such lame excuses must be sent to Sikkim and Darjeeling for a crash course on how to manage traffic regulation in the hill area; both the states have much more narrower lane compared to that of Meghalaya. The traffic flow has been successful in both the states due to the participation of the masses who maintained every Rules and Regulations of the Traffic Law.
Yet other reasons for the traffic congestion in the city are random parking of vehicles, including the Legislators which have made headlines at the end of 2010. The very first parking lots which came out for Shillong is the Parking Lot at Mawkhar, then others were constructed across the state. None of the parking lots, be it being maintained by MUDA or the Surrendered HNLC, some are even being maintained by Durbars or clubs. All have the same story, the lower floors are unserviceable, not because of poor construction, but it have turned out to be public open toilet places, un-disposed human waste emitted bad odors forces the drivers to parked their respective vehicles outside.
Secondly, numerous complaint of over charged parking fee, and damaged to the vehicles, be it scratch or missing of vehicle accessories are doing its bit to discourage the driver to use the parking lot in the state.
Thirdly, common citizen feels it unsafe to park their respective vehicle in the parking lot alleging the conduct of illegal activities like drugs peddlers and even flash- trades being operated from various parking lots in the city.
The authorities must take immediate action to have proper Surveillance of Parking lots to instill confidence of vehicle owners, surprised checking must be conducted from time to time in the parking lots, and also drive the way-side parking to the allotted parking lots in various localities.
This is the era of CCTV, it will be easy to monitor the parking places for any anti social activities. Cleanliness too must be stressed, once the vehicle owners have confidence that their loved car is safe, the parking lots in the state will be judiciously utilized.
The authorities need not invest any capital, most of the parking lots have already been outsourced, all it requires is to strictly monitor the operation, this will not only project a better image of the state, it will also contribute in easing the traffic congestion in the city.