Shillong: The famous tourist hub that is Shillong City has a side that has local residents concerned.

With the same narrow roads that have not changed for the last 20 years, Shillong today is reeling under the pressure of daily traffic jams. So much so that the Meghalaya High Court has sought a response from the state government on measures to address it following a PIL by local lawyer Philip Khrawbok Shati.

EastMojo interacted with some Shillong residents to understand their views and whether they think the traffic situation has gotten better or worse.

A concerned resident of Madanryting locality complained how the traffic has been getting worse with the public facing a lot of problem. 

“As we’ve seen, the odd and even system is being implemented right now but there’s no respite. The only solution lies in keeping an eye on the number of vehicles plying on the road,” the resident said.

Bantiplang Iawphniaw, a student, termed Shillong’s traffic “terrible and unorganised”.

“Due to the traffic congestion, I avoid taking a taxi and prefer going on foot,” added Iawphniaw.

While T Chyne differed in his view and said the traffic flow is better now that the odd and even system is in place. Chyne feels that private vehicles plying on the roads has increased significantly in numbers.

Superintendent of Police (SP) (Traffic) Shailendra Bamaniya acknowledged that roughly 50-100 vehicles are being added on a daily basis and said due to manpower crisis, the department is facing some challenge.

The SP (Traffic) said they have identified several traffic points and currently, Shillong Traffic Police is deploying over 150 traffic personnel across the city.

Saying that vehicle density is very high in Shillong city, Bamaniya added, “The city is a tourist hub and many tourist come to the city. Roads are very narrow… The roads are the same as they were 20 years back.”

Adding that they are not fully equipped to control the traffic since there are limitations for them, the SP (Traffic) said, “We are trying to ease the traffic congestion but lack embarkment and dis-embarkment points. These points need to be constructed.”

Recently, the Meghalaya government had suggested that shifting of government offices to New Shillong Township would help in easing traffic congestion in Shillong. The government has also started a road project connecting Shillong-Tamabil and is hopeful that the major traffic witnessed in Upper Shillong will ease with this.

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