By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 25: Roads teeming with honking cars, traffic srls and jams for hours together leading to road rages, accidents and the like are essentially distinctive features of Guwahati. And this is not without good reason.
The extreme traffic congestion in the city has many reasons behind. There are many who squarely blame it on the fast rise in the number of cars/vehicles in the State and its neighbouring states. It sounds as if the blame holds much water in it given the number of new cars/vehicles being registered everyday in the city.
There are some startling car/vehicle statistics of Guwahati. The city has as many as 9.50 lakh cars of all hues. The Kamrup (M) District Transport Office (DTO) registers 300-350 new cars, everyday. In fiscal 2015-16, as many 71,906 cars were registered by Kamrup (M) DTO. In fiscal 2016-17 till January, 50,678 cars have been registered by the DTO. According to DTO(R) in-charge Prasenjit Ghosh, apart from vehicles that come to Guwahati from other districts of the State, 3,000-4,000 vehicles come from Tripura, around 5,000 from Meghalaya, around 200 from Mizoram, around 1,000 from galand and around 100 from Manipur to Guwahati, everyday. Apart from these, there are vehicles of the Army, CRPF, BSF, India Air Force etc. that keep coming to the city, Ghosh said, and added that all these cars do add to the traffic congestion. There are also around 13,000 cabbies being operated in Guwahati and its suburbs by some private companies.
Ghosh, however, is not ready to blame it solely on the increasing number of cars for the traffic jams in the city. He has something else to blame for the ever-increasing traffic srls in Guwahati. “The number of cars and vehicles in Guwahati is still much less than that of other metropolitan cities in the country. It’s not that the roads in Guwahati have already crossed their optimum level of holding vehicles. There’re traffic congestions in the city, and the problem lies in the lack of civic sense among the citizens, especially among those who are using cars and other forms of vehicles,” Ghosh said, and added: “Vehicles are seen parked in no-parking areas. The parking lots in the city are often not used. Vehicles are even parked on bridges, approaches to big shops or malls. It’s not true that the car-holding capacities of the roads of Guwahati have crossed their optimum limit.”
Ghosh says that there are other reasons as well. “The existing public transport systems in Guwahati aren’t being used by the public, properly. This is also a fact that the city lacks fast modes of communication. Such a situation leads people to use more and more private cars while going from one place to another in the city. Had there been fast and proper modes of transportation in the city, the use of private cars would have come down much,” Ghosh said, and added: “Some of the city buses in the city don’t ply on the roads meant for them. City buses are infamous for stopping buses for longer periods in stops. They even stop buses in places other than their regular stops. Such practices also add to traffic congestion in the city. We’ve some cabbie companies that carry passengers from one place to another in the city and its outskirts.”