Shillong: The issue of traffic congestion in Shillong has grown into a long-standing concern, not only for its residents but also for neighboring states in the Northeast region.
In fact, the High Court has recently criticized the state government for its inaction regarding the city’s traffic gridlock.
However, addressing the problem brings forth a crucial question, should the blame and responsibility solely rest on the shoulders of the traffic police?
Currently, Shillong has approximately 180 traffic police officers, yet there are 170 traffic points that require monitoring. With the current manpower, they can only manage less than half of these traffic points.
According to a department official, the city has witnessed a steady increase in the number of cars and two-wheelers over the years, while the road infrastructure remains unchanged. The officer explained, “Private cars, maxi cabs, government vehicles have multiplied, but our roads have not. We lack separate lanes for directing two-wheelers, exacerbating the traffic congestion.”
Another official suggested that implementing an odd-even rule for all vehicles might lead to improvements, although challenges persist, particularly in commercial areas like Police Bazar and Iewduh.
Despite these challenges, officials are working to minimize the problem, noting that Shillong’s traffic jams are comparatively shorter in duration than those in other cities.
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However, the traffic police are expected to face further reductions in manpower in the coming months due to promotions. The last recruitment was carried out in 2012 and since then there have been transfers but no replacements.
Complicating matters, requests from MLAs and Dorbar Shnongs (traditional village councils) to manage specific locations have placed additional strain on the already limited workforce.
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