But before we get into that, why not check out our other article on Electric cars in Shillong and its future in this state.
CURRENT STATE OF SHILLONG TRAFFIC
Whether you are going on a shopping spree to the Police bazaar or heading for school towards Laitumkhrah. Nothing is as ever constant in Shillong as its traffic. Lines of cars stuck for hours on end has now become the norm. Years upon years of public and governmental negligence have brought about these circumstances.
There were once days where Shillong had free roads and it did not take an eternity to reach somewhere you needed to be. Times like those however are now long gone and taking your vehicle out is now seen as a chore rather than leisure.
CONCENTRATION OF SHILLONG TRAFFIC
Shillong traffic is seen to be highly congested in highly specific areas. These areas namely being:
Being one of the commercial hubs of the state. The entire stretch of road beginning from the IGP Secretariat to the Police Bazaar itself is filled with traffic almost every day. This is due to a multitude of reasons with some being lack of enough parking facilities, small area of road in comparison to the number of cars and poor traffic management.
Laitumkhrah is also one of Shillong’s commercial hubs, connecting many different key areas of the city and is also a common route taken by students. Despite having a bazaar of its own, it is known as a centre for cafes and restaurants and attracts a huge amount of attention for this reason also. Poor road infrastructure along with Laitumkhrah being one of the only routes to most schools around the area only adds to this congestion.
The Nongthymmai intersection is also a very busy one. Being an entry point to major residential areas to the city it is also burdened by the fact it is an overlying slope. The roads built around this terrain are not usually characterised by free-moving traffic. Big trucks laden with coal, limestone, etc. often pass through this intersection adding to the city’s traffic woes.
ROADS CONNECTING THE SURROUNDING AREAS
The Shillong Traffic is also highly concentrated in its connecting roads. The connecting roads of St.Edmunds, Polo, Mawlai, Upper Shillong, etc. are the main areas of congestion. The underlying reasons for congestion in these areas however are more serious. Negligence from the government has led to poor road conditions and sub-par infrastructure in comparison to neighbouring states. Furthermore, the system of public transport is also not proper enough for the public to rely on.
WHY SHILLONG TRAFFIC HAS REACHED THIS STATE
Shillong is a small city. This city has many people and each person has even more cars. Other than the fact that the population is booming along with its population of cars, the main area of roads has neither changed nor increased in these past few years. Most of the major causes of traffic are generally these ones:
POOR ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
Potholes galore and tiny roads with no alternative route have become synonymous with Shillong traffic. Poor infrastructure is usually if not mainly caused by poor governance and management from the respective authorities. Ironically, just a few kilometres away in the neighbouring state of Assam exists a significantly more improved system of roads which is only one of many points of comparison.
INAVAILIBILITY OF ALTERNATE ROUTES
As per common knowledge, Shillong traffic is congested in different areas during different timings. The roads leading to schools near St.Edmund’s, Loreto, Pinemount, etc. are usually congested during the early hours of the morning and roads connecting IGP, Malki, Dhanketi, etc. are usually congested during the night. Making the act of getting to these places done through one or two major roads with no other alternatives.
RANDOM PARKING OF CARS
Another cause of Shillong traffic is the random stopping and parking of cars in roads that barely have any space for cars to begin with. Why this has happened is either due to the lack of enough traffic policemen to supervise the traffic or poor management from them altogether. Having to anticipate a random stoppage or somehow navigate your way through negligent parking is a big reason for traffic.
LACK OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
Shillong traffic has increased to the point where a major problem for health officials and people in an emergency needing to reach somewhere in a short amount of time has arisen. It is high time for the government to start acting upon this or at the very least deem Shillong traffic as a problem worth allocating funds and effort into solving.
UNORGANISED PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Increasing rates, low supply of available buses and taxis in accordance to the demand, has swayed the public to move to use private transport. If proper management of fares and availability plus a supply of public transport was present then a fair amount of citizens would consider using it. However, many citizens of the state consider it to be more convenient to use their own private vehicles.
CAN WE SOLVE SHILLONG TRAFFIC?
Lessening the traffic itself has become a complex task let alone trying to solve it entirely. Proper management and intervention from the government however could go a long way. Fixing the endless amount of potholes and building up the roads is a good start. Freeing up roads and building new ones from areas under government control could help build alternate routes. The vast majority of areas unused by the Shillong Central Defence sector for example could provide relief. Simply building bigger roads however would not provide much relief as big roads might just lead to bigger traffic. Round about roads have shown to reduce the concentration of traffic and also help avoid accidents. Proper planning and ingenuity in taking decisions are important before any construction should take place.
The number of officials in the traffic police force also need to increase as many more surrounding areas have now seen huge amounts of congestion. We know that more officials mean more supervision and that could help prevent random stoppages and negligent parking of cars. The possibility of solving traffic becomes less and less of a probability as the days go counting by.
In conclusion, I feel like we should take the current situation with traffic more seriously. We should also push the government to similarly do so. Even though the situation is bad enough today, it can get even worse tomorrow. Why not take the bus for a change or leave the car at home and walk to a place instead. A little bit of exercise could maybe help a bleeding child or a pregnant lady on the way to the hospital. There is no better time than today to start acting for a better tomorrow.
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