Govt takes swift action to create lay-byes

Officials asked to be tough with traffic violators


By Our Special Correspondent

Shillong: The protracted traffic conundrum along the GS Road has got Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma working overtime. On Tuesday Dr Sangma accompanied by Urban Affairs Minister, Ampareen Lyngdoh and Mawlai MLA Founder S Cajee carried out a field visit to physically survey the possible locations for creation of lay-byes along national highways 40 and 44.

Stating that traffic jams are now originating along East Khasi Hills, Dr Sangma while speaking to The Shillong Times said, “When the major traffic jam happened on May 19-20 last year on the Ri Bhoi stretch, the Government had set up a high level enquiry by a Principal Secretary. Following that report and action taken, traffic along Ri Bhoi is fairly regulated. Why is there inaction in East Khasi Hills? Traffic Police ought to implement the traffic rules strictly.”

Dr Sangma said to create lay-byes some of the hardware shops and garages by the roadside have to be relocated.

The government plans to extend the four lane road up to Mawiongrim a short distance from Shillong. Between Lad Umiam (where the NHAI four-laning project ends) and Shillong via Mawlai – a distance of 8 kms the government will be acquiring more land for a four-lane road. “We met with around 12 land owners along this stretch and they were positive about parting with their land,” Dr Sangma said.

The Chief Minister also informed that one lay-bye between Barapani and Shillong would accommodate 1000 trucks plus trailers. On the Shillong-Jowai stretch the lay-bye would allow 1500-2000 trucks to halt.

Five locations have been immediately identified.

The PWD has been asked to prepare proposals for the lay-byes immediately on the Single Window clearance basis so that work could start immediately. Once the bidding process starts there would be spot allotment within 48 hours.

For road expansion and new connectivity, detailed project proposals (DPRs) would be prepared within this month, the Chief Minister said.

To regulate traffic more efficiently Dr Sangma said a dedicated magistrate would be placed on duty on a daily basis to that strict action can be applied on traffic violators.

Dr Sangma said all road users (drivers and commuters) should adhere to the ethics and etiquette of driving. “We want all travelers to Shillong and beyond to be a pleasant experience not a distressing one”, the Chief Minister observed.

The Chief Minister also spoke of creating two lanes for pedestrians along the highway.


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