MG Road Walking Zone Continues to Create Huge Traffic Congestion
- Walking zone continues to create traffic congestion on Sundays
- Local councillor said he raised the issue with the administration but no solution was provided
- Social activist Ajoy Dutta said it is an ‘abnormal’ decision
- Dutta said that the government is not thinking of any alternate arrangements
- The riverfront in the area is far from developed
- District administration claimed that the riverfront will be developed within six months
- Ajoy Dutta said that the river bank land areas are wasted and should be utilised instead of MG Road being a walking zone
MG Road walking zone continues to create huge traffic congestion
Traffic congestion has emerged as a major concern for the residents of the areas adjacent to MG Road on Sunday evenings. The problem has emerged after the stretch from Sukreswar Temple to Bharalumukh was converted into a walking zone seven weeks ago.
Councillor of Ward No 9, Rajkumar Tewari said, “It is a major issue and we have taken it up with the administration but they have failed to give any solution.” He was of the view that the problem can be mitigated if one side of the road was kept open for vehicular movement.
A traffic police personnel said that the vehicles plying towards Maligaon get choked at Bharalumukh as commuters from AT Road, Hem Baruah Road, Gorchuk–Bharalumukh Road gather at the junction. The 8 railway crossings in the area further deteriorate the situation creating a chaotic scenario.
A resident of Cycle Factory, Anup Das said, “I was taking my ailing mother to Sanjeeveni Hospital located near Kamakhya on Sunday but had to wait for around one and a half hours due to the congestion in the area,” adding that the same distance on week days takes around 20 minutes as travelling time.
Many residents in the locality are of the view that the decision was implemented in a hurry and without assessing the fallout of the new traffic arrangement.
Govt not thinking of any alternate option, feels Ajoy Dutta
Social activist and the member of Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG), Ajoy Dutta, explained that the government’s decision to create a walking zone on MG Road was “abnormal” and without any alternative.
Dutta said, “If the government wants to make a walking zone, Vivekananda Kendra (Uzan Bazar Ghat) to Raj Bhawan in Ujan Bazar could have been an option as that stretch is free from congestion.”
He added that there were some other options like the backside of Sonoram High School to Bhootnath since there is hardly any vehicle plying on that road.
Another resident pointed to the road between Kharguli and Noonmati which is devoid of heavy traffic.
On enquiring if the government is thinking of any alternate option, a source in the district administration said that despite the walking zone project starting as an experiment to be continued till 26th January 2018, the project might extend forever.
Riverfronts far from developed
Ward No 9 Councillor, Rajkumar Tewari, said that if the government wanted to provide a beautiful view with some ambience to the pedestrians, the river beautification work should have been completed three months before converting a stretch of MG Road into a walking zone.
He said, “The bank of the entire stretch looks dirty as it is not regularly cleaned and there is not even a proper infrastructure for the visitors.”
Backing the councillor’s view, social activist and vice president of Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG), Ajoy Dutta said, “If the government wants the people to enjoy, let them open the stretch of land between the river and the road from Sukreswar Ghat to Bharalumukh.”
Dutta said that the riverfront from Sukreswar to Bharalu has been “wasted” as the parks have remained undeveloped. “The owners of private ships are favoured with plots of river bank lands,” he added.
An official in the district administration however clarified that a plan has been firmed up to develop the park within six months.