Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Shillong Jottings


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Where is Sohra?

Some guests at Hotel Pinewood were having dinner. The television was switched on to PCN channel and the story followed by the channel was on the visit of the State Planning Board to various projects in Sohra.

One guest asked a not –so-well-informed waiter where Sohra is. The waiter replied that it is near Cherrapunjee. Then the guest asked which district it was Sohra in. The waiter was informed enough to whisper that Sohra is in East Khasi Hills.

But should Hotel Pine Wood not have brochures at their reception with all the important landmarks and bit and pieces of information? This is the weakest link in our tourism chain. When will the Department correct this?

The small card sized information near the doorway might not really attract attention.

Room 14 of Hotel Pinewood is a VIP room but the lights failed on Sunday evening and there was not even an emergency lamp to light up the sitting room where guests were sitting with former Home Secretary, GK Pillai!

 Bus Ticket

Getting a ticket from the conductors of the newly launched bus service is a tough ask, since right from day one these conductors have been telling the commuters that the ticket dispensing machines are not functioning.

A matter of concern for the manufacturer since these machines function complaint-free, in all other JNNURM buses running in the country.

What happens now is that these shameless conductors keep on asking the same commuter for tickets, again and again.

As one commuter has said logically, this comedy of errors would not occur if the conductors use the machines provided to them. But who cares? Since these machines keeps hanging on the neck of the conductors like a dog chain.

Secondly, commuters also feel that bus stands should have a display board with respective bus numbers in them, as seen in other cities, along with the routes to be covered by the buses so that it get easier for the passengers.

A tourist, who wanted to go for a bus ride here said there is no electronic display of stops nor does the conductor announce the stops coherently so it is hard for them to find out where to embark. Long way to go for SPTS to serve commuters!

Traffic Signboards

There are few meaningless signage in the city. With the frequentchange in traffic arrangements in various parts of the city, these signage are confusing.

The one from Barik towards IGP (near MLCU) and the one near Officer’s Holiday Home (near Civil Hospital) are more like the defunct traffic signal lights in the city.

The Barik-IGP and Civil-IGP route is one way now as cars from the opposite direction are only allowed.

But the Barik-IGP signage – which indicates Khyndailad (Police Bazaar) on one side and Sohra on the other side – and the Civil-IGP signage (almost hidden in one corner) should be relocated.

There are some roads in the town with no signage at all and it becomes confusing for the vehicles that are coming from outside. The Civil Hospital junction is one such place. With a rotary now constructed after the erstwhile PWD office was grounded, outstation vehicles often gets baffled in this area, because the only blackboard size signboard in this junction remains covered with the traffic police booth.

And the rotary is not so since only vehicles coming from Barik can take it. A vehicle from Assam which was bound for Jaintia Hills went all the way to Khyndailad from Civil Hospital looking for the road to Jowai. In the end he had to take a u-turn and restart.

Prominent signage near the Civil Hospital junction or at the rotary near State Central Library would make it easier for drivers from outside the State to find their way!

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