Traffic snarl: Govt mulls more lay-bys

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The State Government is contemplating to come up with three to four lay-bys along the National Highways to park the trucks during peak hours.

The Government has been forced to come up with this new proposal considering that some 60,000 trucks ply along the Jowai-Shillong-Guwahati road daily thereby causing traffic congestion along the highways.

A senior government official on condition of anonymity on Tuesday informed that Chief Secretary WMS Pariat has approved this proposal to construct these lay-bys, adding that these would provide the necessary space required for halting the trucks during the peak hours.

“These proposed lay-bys will be constructed along the entire stretch of the National Highway in Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills which are the worst affected highways,” a senior government official said.

Replying to a query, he informed that they have not proposed the lay-bys in Ri-Bhoi district since the four-laning work is going on.

“The PWD has been directed to identify the land for these lay-bys- The Government is committed to coming up with the lay-bys at the earliest to help ease traffic congestion along the highway to a large extent,” a senior government official said.

It may be mentioned that the absence of lay-byes along the highway is also another factor that has compounded the traffic snarls. Along the two national highways in the State, there are only two prominent lay-byes- one near Laitkor (along NH-44), about 15 km from Shillong, and another at Mawlai Mawiong (along NH-40), around 5 km from here.

Meanwhile, the senior government official also informed that the PWD had earlier submitted a project proposal amounting to Rs 8 crore to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for expanding the road on the excess land available on both sides of the road along the highway.

“But the Union Ministry later rejected the project proposal,” he informed.

However, the senior official said that the district administration along with the police would start the process of checking the documents of the trucks plying along the highway from the first week of December.

“This new step has been initiated to detect all the old trucks which are plying along the highways. We have found that many of the old trucks are plying on the highway after the apex court in its ruling had restricted trucks from carrying more than 9 Metric tonnes of load,” he said.

The official also said that the old trucks are the cause of the traffic snarls on the highway.

“Every now and then it is found that there is traffic jam in the highway due to the breakdown of these old trucks,” he added.

Earlier, a huge traffic jam once again held the city and its residents to ransom on Monday.

The reason for this traffic snarl was the breakdown of an 18-wheel vehicle last night somewhere near Nongthymmai.

Confirming this, Chief Secretary WMS Pariat said that it was due to the breakdown of the truck-cum-trailer which has caused the traffic congestion.

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