HC directs govt to file report on plans to ease traffic snarls

SHILLONG, Dec 16: The division bench of the High Court of Meghalaya has directed the state government to furnish a report indicating the immediate measures proposed to be adopted to ease the traffic snarls which are an everyday affair in the capital town.
The Court was hearing a PIL filed by Philip Khrawbok Shati highlighting the traffic congestion in Shillong, particularly around the central business district and Kachari area near DC’s Office.
The petitioner complained of pregnant women delivering inside cars and critical patients dying without being able to reach hospitals or school children failing to reach school on time.
The petitioner said that at times there are long queues as a result of irregular parking or far too many cars than the roads may be able to bear.
It was submitted on behalf of the state that the traffic in Shillong is a problem and it is magnified by the fact that this being a hilly area, alternative roads may not be easily carved out and a large chunk of the land around central Shillong is defence land.
The Court observed that there is no denying that the traffic needs to be regulated and added that while the specific measures that need to be taken cannot be dictated by the Court, the present state of affairs cannot be permitted to continue. The Court added that every day, traffic on even the Guwahati-Shillong Highway comes to a standstill and queues of more than 3 km of stalled cars are a common sight and it is the same for the road leading to Sohra (Cherrapunjee) and getting into or out of Shillong is a virtual nightmare.
“It is hoped that the police authorities along with the state and local administration adopt immediate measures to ease the traffic in Shillong, particularly around the central business district and the entry and exit points. The state will furnish a report indicating the immediate measures proposed to be adopted to ease the traffic snarls which are an everyday affair in this fast growing city. The report should be prepared by the third respondent in consultation with the Superintendent of Traffic Police here and other appropriate authorities,” the order stated.
The matter has been listed on February 8, 2022.

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