SHILLONG, Oct 03: Moving forward its recommendation to the government for the construction of a multi – level parking facility at the Barik point here, the Meghalaya State Planning Board (MSPB) has asked the public works department to submit a report on the status of the land at Barik point which houses the offices of the department within a month’s time.
“We have asked the PWD to submit the report within a month time on the status of this land at Barik point,” Board’s chairman Lambor Malngiang informed after conducting a joint inspection with government officials here on Wednesday.
He said that the government will be looking to develop similar infrastructure wherever land is available in the city with the objective of addressing the problem of traffic congestion faced by the citizens.
“We are looking at the option of constructing of an official venue for holding of protest at the PWD premises at Barik point. We need to develop such a space since the various organisations are force to hold the protest at the parking lot near Additional Secretary since they do not have any other alternative,” Malngiang said.
He also said that the government is contemplating to develop a space in Shillong along the lines of Jantar Mantar in Delhi which will be made into an official venue for holding of protests since the parking lot near Additional Secretariat is too small for the same.
“This will be a suitable place to allow the various organisations to hold agitation programmes,” Malngiang said.
It may be mentioned here that former chief minister, late EK Mawlong had earlier mooted the idea of the creation of a permanent space for holding protests at the same site. However, he (Mawlong) could not make this a reality since his Government did not last.
Similarly, former Deputy Chief Minister, Bindo Mathew Lanong had also wanted to convert the 5th Ground at Polo as the official venue for holding of protests. However, no government since had paid heed to Lanong’s proposal.
Malngiang said that they are also planning to develop a multi storied parking lot to ease the traffic congestion in the city.
“After seeing the traffic congestion in the city, it is time for the State Government to come up with measures to ease the traffic congestion in the city of Shillong,” he said.
Malngiang said that the intention is to shift the present offices from Barik point. “We will wait for the report from the PWD where to shift these offices. We would like to complete the whole exercise at the earliest,” he said.
While pointing out that the multi storey parking facility will address the problem of space for vehicles used to drop and pick up children from the schools in the area, Malngiang said that these vehicles are one of the reasons for the traffic snarls in the area.
He further informed that the Education department had assured to discuss with the school authorities in the city for introduction of school bus facilities for students.
“This trend of each child being dropped in a separate vehicle needs to be stopped. We need to encourage the starting the bus services and we will try to make it mandatory to introduce the school bus facilities,” he said.
Malngiang has also conducted an inspection to the parking lot near the SBI main branch at Police Bazaar.
“We have not been able to utilize the parking lot due to the parking of the maxi cabs which are not in running condition,” he said while informing that the transport department has been asked to convene a meeting of the condemnation committee to clear these vehicles within a week’s time.