Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Traffic snarl: City held to ransom


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: 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.

“If there is a breakdown in any part of the highway, the whole highway would be jammed,” Pariat said.

“Henceforth we will restrict the entry of larger vehicles,” the Chief Secretary said, adding that specific timings would be given to them for moving into the city.

He also informed that the Government would be creating more posts to increase the existing manpower in the traffic police department within this coming week and said that the new posts would be for East Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi districts.

“We are creating new posts to improve the traffic management especially in the highways. The Traffic police branch is currently facing acute shortage of manpower,” Pariat said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary attributed the growing number of trucks to the restriction imposed by the Supreme Court on loading.

He said that the apex court order restricts trucks from carrying anything more than 9 metric tonnes.

“Earlier, each truck used to carry more than 20 tonnes. After the apex court order more trucks have been requisitioned to make up for the shortfall in weight.. This has created a tremendous burden on the highways,” Pariat said. He also said the national highways in the state not only cater to Meghalaya, but are also used as transit routes for vehicles going to Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.

The police, on the other hand, have pinned the blame on enforcement staff of the transport department for the snarls. “The enforcement staff hold up trucks along the highways and collect money from them. This leads to traffic snarls,” a police official, on condition of anonymity, said.

To this allegation, Pariat said strict orders have been issued not to check vehicles along the main road.

But trucks alone should not be held responsible for the ubiquitous jams. As people crave for being the first to reach their destinations, overtaking among vehicles is also another major factor behind the traffic jams. “People should understand that overtaking compounds the problem,” Pariat advised.

While expressing concern over the traffic snarl on Monday, KHNAM president Paul Lyngdoh has stated that the State Government must come out with an action plan to deal with the prevailing traffic situation.”There must be a political will to regulate the plying of trucks,” Lyngdoh said in a statement.


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