At the outset, I would like to acknowledge, appreciate and thank the Shillong Traffic Police (STP) for their efforts in the past few years to decongest the streets of Shillong despite many odds. Many innovative steps have been adopted to ease the situation. Those include the opening up of several hitherto unutilized minor roads in many parts of the city. However, there are certain potential new routes that have perhaps escaped the consideration of concerned urban management authorities, i.e, the District Administration, MUDA, Shillong Municipality as well as the STP.
In this writer’s opinion, traffic congestion can further ease in certain areas if the following roads are opened to traffic as one-way routes:-
(i) The road going from near the Office of the Inspector of Schools, East Khasi Hills, Mawkhar downwards towards Umsohsun ending at the Junction at Ri-Khasi Press point. (ii) From the above junction, the road going upwards and joining Mawkhar Main Road near the office of the Syiem of Mylliem.
Opening up of these roads would further decongest a large area and allow hundreds of vehicles to proceed from Mawlai Mawroh, …….Robert Hospital, Jaiaw Mission Compound, Mawkhar, Lumdiengjri, Lama-villa on one side of the town, and also remove the inconvenience for those of us who wish to travel to the other side of the town towards Police Bazar, DC’s Office, Civil Hospital etc either by private vehicle or taxis. Undoubtedly, this move will also ease traffic flow at Motphran to a certain extent.
The first mentioned road was never opened to vehicular traffic while the other roads were closed to traffic more than forty years ago perhaps because the residence of a VI P is located in the vicinity. But whatever the case may be, surely the above roads were constructed out of public money. Hence the concerned authorities mentioned earlier are requested to look in to the matter and ensure that all available infrastructure should be put to better use to serve the public better.
It is good to see that road widening and traffic roundabouts are being constructed at Laitumkhrah Police Point and Golf links Mawpat junction to ensure smooth flow of traffic. One hopes that the construction at Laitumkhrah will be completed before schools start in order to avoid inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians during peak hours.
A few suggestions in this regard is that the roundabout at Laitumkhrah should perhaps be smaller for smooth flow of traffic coming in fast from Don Bosco to Police Beat House. There is a danger of speeding vehicles skidding towards the right hand side buildings at night when there is little traffic.
Word is also going round that either Water Fountains or Statues will be constructed within this roundabout. Fountains will be difficult to maintain and will be in bad taste given the acute water shortage faced by many people in this area. I would suggest a small green patch of ornamental shrubs on the rounds. Besides being pleasing to the eye this is a more eco-friendly option.
Law equal for all
Reading the news captioned, “246 ‘tainted’ teachers to lose jobs” (ST January 29, 2014) gave me a mixed feeling of sadness and accord. There is sadness because like everything else even a calling as vital and imperative as teachers, the nurturers of young minds can also be bought and played around with. Of course the reason for accord is based on the assumption that the wrong doers and the perpetrators of dishonesty would be punished. Those who have committed an offence must be taken to task and due punishment must be awarded to them. While the tarnished 246 should be stripped off their jobs, one only hopes that the matter will not rest in papers as mere news items. This means that only half of the battle is won. Besides the 246 teachers anyone involved must be brought to book. After all it takes two hands to clap. Therefore if there are those who dared to offer help and aid in any form there are also those who did not shy away from making the maximum use of their power, position and authority. If those asking for help will receive due punishment it is only fair that those providing the aid should also be punished. At this juncture it is important to refrain from discriminating between the weak and helpless and the mighty and the powerful. No matter how high a position the wrong doer may be occupying, the law must take its course and not allow anyone to go scot free. Having said that what remains to be seen is if truth and justice will prevail? In spite of this glimmer of pessimism I still wish to see the wrong set right irrespective of one’s identity and status so that this incident will act as a deterrent in the future.